The “it’s like God” CBO states that it’s created/saved number is a farce.
If you must know, the “it’s like God” reference is an homage to some language that Sen. Chuck Grassley used during the health care summit. When Rep. Paul Ryan was ably assailing the phony numbers of the health care bill, during an exchange with the Democrats where one of them accused Rep. Paul Ryan of doubting the CBO, Grassley said something to the effect that the CBO was like God because it’s budget analyses are beyond reproach.
Well, they may be beyond reproach for folks in D.C., but the CBO is an enabler of the bad behavior of Congress. Indeed, the CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE is a creation of Congress and it’s job is mainly, garbage in, garbage out: whatver the Congress tells it to calculate, it calculates. It’s budget projections are mush and 99.99% of the time are wrong. That’s because a) it’s a projection and b) that projection is over a ten year period. One of the first things that you learn when studying economics is that your forecast is only as good as your last forecast, i.e. it don’t mean jack.
So, why do I bring all of this up to you? Well, the current CBO director, Doug Elmendorf, has basically admitted that the CBO did not properly measure jobs created or saved by the stimulus (as if it could). In essence, they confirmed their own model: spending money HAS to create or save jobs, so it must be true. Of course, there were some slight variations there such as, oh I don’t know, a recession, high unemployment, lots of money being poured into the maws of corporations, you know, things that can put a crimp in your modeling. Oh, but don’t worry about that small stuff, progress is being made!!
I only wish people would view the CBO as the enabler of the Congress and not view it as an “independent, nonpartisan” body. You want that, we have four big accounting firms that can do the work for you (and probably cheaper, as well). But, hey! You thought this performance was good, just wait until we see all the money we saved from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010!!*
*That’s Obamacare for you simpletons who don’t know what’s good for you.