Happy Holidays to the CBO
If the role of the Federal Reserve is to take away the punchbowl just as the party is getting started, the role of the Congressional Budget Office is to walk around the party telling everyone exactly how drunk they're getting and reminding them that there will be consequences for their actions tomorrow. It's not a particularly fun job. But it is an important one. So I join with Megan McArdle in this:
I would like to point out that there is one group that is especially deserving of a holiday: the CBO analysts who have been scoring this bill. They've been working flat out literally all year, and by this point, they have long ago exhausted any reserves of energy they might once have had. They've been doing this because we wanted to have some sort of reasonable model of how much this was all going to cost, and what it was going to do--and whatever my arguments with the CBO model, they have fulfilled their mandate superbly. In return they get modest government salaries, and absolutely no recognition by anyone except the three people who might recognize a CBO analyst on the street.
So in the spirit of harmony with our fellow men that ought to fill this holiday season, let's offer a very special thank you, and a huge "Happy Holidays!" to the Doug Elmendorf and team at the CBO. I don't know what superhuman powers have allowed them to survive the last six months, but they richly deserve the praise of a grateful nation.
Photo credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg.
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