Dynamic score for death and taxes

Submitted: Oct 03, 2017
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Why couldn't the apostles of dynamic scoring on tax reform use the same principle to score gun control legislation? If the agents of plutocracy in power believe they can anticipate the economic growth that will result from their massive tax giveaway to the wealthiest, why couldn't they anticipate the decrease in human slaughter that would result from gun control?

Everybody from the bankers to the NRA owns the federal government; everybody but the people. -- blj

Tax overhaul advocates have long seen dynamic budget scoring—in which the impact of a proposed bill on the overall economy and thus on future revenues and spending is included in a bill’s final score—as a key to easing tax reform approval. Conventional scoring, they say, misses the beneficial impact a simpler and more efficient tax code would have on the economy as well as on federal revenue. -- Bloomberg, Oct. 2, 2017

“I think one of the things that we don’t want to do is try to create laws that won’t create — or stop these types of things from happening,” Sanders said. “I think if you look to Chicago, where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year, they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn’t helped there. So, I think we have to, when that time comes for those conversations to take place, then I think we have to look at things that may actually have a real impact." Callum Borchers, Washington Post, Oct. 2, 2017 

 

10-2-17

Washington Post
White House: Now is not the time to talk about gun control. But ‘if you look to Chicago …’

Callum Borchers  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/10/02/white-house-now-is-not-the-time-to-talk-about-gun-control-but-if-you-look-to-chicago/?utm_term=.103eb1327ab8

 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders faced several questions on gun-control policies on Oct. 2 after a shooting in Las Vegas left at least 58 people dead.(Reuters)

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday repeatedly deflected reporters’ questions about gun control, saying “there will certainly be a time for that policy discussion to take place, but that’s not the place that we’re in at this moment.”

 

During the same media briefing, however, Sanders weighed in on the exact “policy discussion” that she said the White House would not engage in on “a day of mourning.”

“I think one of the things that we don’t want to do is try to create laws that won’t create — or stop these types of things from happening,” Sanders said. “I think if you look to Chicago, where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year, they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn’t helped there. So, I think we have to, when that time comes for those conversations to take place, then I think we have to look at things that may actually have a real impact.”

This is the White House not talking about gun control.

As fact checkers have consistently pointed out, the claim that Chicago has “the strictest gun laws in the country” — one that Trump himself used in a presidential debate last fall — is outdated and has not been true since 2013. It is true, however, that the city’s gun-control regulations remain among the strictest in the nation, yet there were 4,368 shooting victims in Chicago last year, and there have been 2,877 this year.

Later, Sanders responded to Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that a House billthat would ease restrictions on gun silencers could make attacks like the one Stephen Paddock carried out in Las Vegas even more deadly by dampening an audible cue that alerts potential targets.

 “I haven’t spoken with the president about that specific issue, but I don’t think that that is something that would have changed” the outcome, Sanders said. (An expert The Washington Post’s Philip Bump consultedsuggests Sanders is probably right on this point.)

“Again, I think before we start trying to talk about the preventions of what took place last night we need to know more facts,” Sanders continued. “And right now, we’re simply not at that point. It’s very easy for Mrs. Clinton to criticize and to come out, but I think we need to remember the only person with blood on their hands is that of the shooter.”

During the briefing, NBC’s Hallie Jackson noted that “after the Orlando shooting, the president that day was out on Twitter talking about policy; he was talking about his travel ban.”

Jackson was right: It is hard for the White House to say the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the time to talk about policy because of the precedent set by Trump.

Apparently it also is hard for Trump’s team to resist talking about policy, even when it insists that “today is a day for consoling the survivors and mourning those we lost.”

There is nothing inherently wrong with Sanders stating the president’s positions on gun control. Democrats are certainly declaring their own. But the idea that the White House refuses to discuss the issue so soon after tragedy does not match reality.

 

10-2-17

bloomberg.com

Scoring Still a Potential Issue for Tax Revamp in Senate

Jonathan Nicholson

https://www.bna.com/scoring-potential-issue-n73014470326/

In 2015, congressional Republicans touted the ways dynamic budget scoring would help them push through legislation previously undermined by deficit concerns. But as they head into their drive for a historic tax system overhaul, uncertainty exists over how it will be scored in the Senate.

The reasons are varied and include procedural concerns, but the impact could be significant. It could potentially force politically tough floor votes on increasing the government’s $20 trillion debt burden and make it harder for a tax bill to wend its way through a thicket of budget-related points of order Democrats want to deploy against filibuster-proof budget reconciliation.

“These issues are still under discussion as we move forward with this budget resolution focused on providing the tools needed for tax reform,” a spokesman for the Senate Budget Committee told Bloomberg BNA Sept. 29 in response to questions regarding how a tax reconciliation would be handled.

Tax overhaul advocates have long seen dynamic budget scoring—in which the impact of a proposed bill on the overall economy and thus on future revenues and spending is included in a bill’s final score—as a key to easing tax reform approval. Conventional scoring, they say, misses the beneficial impact a simpler and more efficient tax code would have on the economy as well as on federal revenue.

‘Full and Honest’

“As its name indicates, this kind of scoring provides a full and honest accounting of a bill’s effect on the economy. So instead of focusing on whether a bill is good for the government, we’re putting the focus on whether it’s good for the taxpayer,” the office of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in January 2015 after the House changed its rules to apply the method to bills likely to have large impacts on the economy.

In the congressional budget resolution adopted later in 2015 by both the House and Senate, dynamic scoring was allowed on both sides of the Capitol. But the report language adopted for the budget conference report included a caveat: that it would be “for informational purposes only” in the Senate.

That raises the question: when a tax reconciliation bill is on the Senate floor, what will determine whether it meets budget-related points of order—a conventional score or a dynamic one? The difference could be huge. In 2014, the Joint Committee on Taxation said a tax overhaul proposal by then Michigan Republican Dave Camp could have a feedback effect somewhere between $50 billion and $700 billion.

Byrd Fouls?

In the initial stage, Republicans appear to be sticking with conventional scoring in the budget resolution, including allowing the Senate Finance Committee to increase the deficit by up to $1.5 trillion over 10 years in its tax overhaul bill. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, said Sept. 27, “We’re doing what we’re doing with the $1.5 trillion simply to move the thing along so Finance can do its work.”

Aside from the “informational purposes only,” language, two procedural puzzles arise from dynamic scoring, opponents say. The Byrd rule in the Senate sets limits on what can be in a reconciliation bill, prohibiting provisions that balloon the deficit outside the budget window or have zero or only “incidental” effect on revenues or outlays. More importantly, the rule is enforced on a provision-by-provision basis.

Senate rules also prohibit the use of more than one set of economic assumptions. A dynamic score judges a bill’s provisions as having no change on the economy and then adds a line at the end giving the deficit impact of the entire bill once enacted. By its very nature, opponents say, that is assuming two different economic assumptions, a pre-policy and a post-policy one.

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