Dynamic scoring? “I won’t believe the numbers.”

Jun 24, 2016

House Republicans’ recently-released tax agenda relies once again on dynamic scoring, or trickle-down economics. You know, the belief that tax-cuts for businesses and the wealthy will trickle down to boost the economy (How’d that work out,Kansas?). Unfortunately for House Republicans, economists on both sides of the aisle have for years warned that dynamic scoring “is about using smoke and mirrors” to enact tax cuts without paying for them.

Here’s what they’re saying:

“I won’t believe the numbers.”

– Paul Volcker, Chairman of the Federal Reserve under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan on attempts to “dynamically score” the Federal budget

“In practice, dynamic scoring is just another way for Republicans to enact tax cuts and block tax increases. It is not about honest revenue-estimating; it’s about using smoke and mirrors to institutionalize Republican ideology into the budget process.”

– Bruce BartlettDomestic Policy Advisor to President Ronald Reagan

“The Republicans’ interest in dynamic scoring is not the result of a million-economist march on Washington; it comes from political factions convinced that tax cuts are the panacea for all economic ills.”

– Edward Kleinbard, Former Chief of Staff to the Joint Committee on Taxation

“You’re forcing the organization to pick one ‘true’ model when the economic science hasn’t produced a single model that works.”

– Peter Orzag, Former Director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office

“Dynamic scoring would force analysts to make many more judgment calls than they do today. Quality control would be difficult, and that implies a high risk that ideological biases will pollute the analysis.”

– Rudolph Penner, Former Director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office

“Should financial markets lose confidence in the integrity of our budget scoring procedures, the rise in inflation premiums and interest rates could more than offset any statistical difference between so-called ‘static’ and more ‘dynamic’ scoring.”

– Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006

Prepared by Democratic Staff, House Committee on Ways and Means


114th Congress