A while back I wrote about Republican efforts to censor certain words from the report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. No important ones, of course, just ones like "derivatives," "deregulation," "Wall Street," "shadow banking," "interconnection."
The House of Representatives voted last week to tilt the budgetary process in favor of the Republican economic agenda. On Feb. 3, the House passed H.R. 3582, the Pro-Growth Budgeting Act of 2012. Innocuous on the surface, its long-term purpose is to institutionalize Republican economic policy into the very fabric of budgetary analysis.
... Republicans talk as if ... every tax cut will pay for itself and no tax increase could possibly ever raise net revenue and thus reduce the deficit....[...](yeah, yeah, the bolding is mine. And you should read the whole essay.)
Contrary to liberal mythology, the Reagan administration never asserted that the 1981 tax cut would come anywhere close to paying for itself. ... Nor did the George W. Bush administration ever assert that any of its tax cuts would pay for themselves. Yet Republican leaders like Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky continually assert that they did, in fact, pay for themselves and had no impact on the deficit.
A careful study by the C.B.O., however, found that the Bush tax cuts reduced revenues by $3 trillion through 2011, adding that much to the national debt.
As the budget deficit increasingly inhibits Republicans’ tax-cutting, they are planning ahead for tax cuts that they will insist are costless because they will so massively increase growth. But for that approach to work, the C.B.O. and the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’s official budget and tax estimators, need to be forced to play along.
That’s what the new legislation is all about.
[...]As I have previously noted, this fits into a pattern – since getting control of Congress in 1995, Republicans have often abolished institutions that they couldn’t turn into puppet organizations for promoting their agenda.
... Implicitly, Republicans want everyone to think that spending never raises growth because it’s their dogma.
But in the real world, everyone knows that government investments in the national highway system, medical and other scientific research, and other programs unquestionably add to growth. ...
It is reasonable to assume that the Republicans’ effort to alter the budget process is just another aspect of their goal to politicize policy and institutionalize their philosophy.