White House war with CBO continues

Rick Moran
The Obama administration seems to have adopted the idea that one should never let the facts stand in the way of a government power grab - especially when those facts make you out to be a liar.

The CBO has been a huge thorn in the side of the Obama administration as they try to get their health care boondoggle passed before people wake up and realize how truly bad their ideas are. Twice this month, director Elmendorf and his green eye shade wonks have directly contradicted Obama assertions on the health care reform bill which has given GOP opponents ammunition and Blue Dog Democrats weak knees.

Last week, the president took the unprecedented step of calling Elmendorf to the White House, obviously to put pressure on him to get on the health care reform bandwagon and maybe make the numbers look a little better.

This, Elmendorf obviously refused to do. And now, according to this piece at CNN , the White House is hitting back:

The White House has criticized the Congressional Budget Office's findings that the Obama administration's proposal to control Medicare costs would yield a moderate savings of $2 billion over the next decade. White House Budget Director Peter Orszag said the CBO's analysis - which it relayed to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Saturday - could feed a perception of the office's bias toward "exaggerating costs and underestimating savings."

"The point of the proposal ... was never to generate savings over the next decade," Orszag said in a letter posted on Saturday.

"Instead the goal is to provide a mechanism for improving quality of care for beneficiaries and reducing costs over the long term."

This is patently dishonest. The White House had been touting their control of Medicare costs as the way to pay for the trillion dollar program of weeks. For Orszag to now say that they never claimed such savings only points up their desperation in trying to counter the facts with spin.

And as far as feeding "a perception of the office's bias toward "exaggerating costs and underestimating savings." - Orszag inadvertently hit the nail on the head. Of course that's what the White House is trying to do. And that makes the CBO reports that much more devastating.

There is a danger that Elmendorf may lose his job over this. If he does, the GOP will raise a stink because the CBO is supposed to be above partisanship.

But that doesn't matter when the wonks are slicing Obama's health care reform ideas to shreds.

The Obama administration seems to have adopted the idea that one should never let the facts stand in the way of a government power grab - especially when those facts make you out to be a liar.

The CBO has been a huge thorn in the side of the Obama administration as they try to get their health care boondoggle passed before people wake up and realize how truly bad their ideas are. Twice this month, director Elmendorf and his green eye shade wonks have directly contradicted Obama assertions on the health care reform bill which has given GOP opponents ammunition and Blue Dog Democrats weak knees.

Last week, the president took the unprecedented step of calling Elmendorf to the White House, obviously to put pressure on him to get on the health care reform bandwagon and maybe make the numbers look a little better.

This, Elmendorf obviously refused to do. And now, according to this piece at CNN , the White House is hitting back:

The White House has criticized the Congressional Budget Office's findings that the Obama administration's proposal to control Medicare costs would yield a moderate savings of $2 billion over the next decade. White House Budget Director Peter Orszag said the CBO's analysis - which it relayed to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Saturday - could feed a perception of the office's bias toward "exaggerating costs and underestimating savings."

"The point of the proposal ... was never to generate savings over the next decade," Orszag said in a letter posted on Saturday.

"Instead the goal is to provide a mechanism for improving quality of care for beneficiaries and reducing costs over the long term."

This is patently dishonest. The White House had been touting their control of Medicare costs as the way to pay for the trillion dollar program of weeks. For Orszag to now say that they never claimed such savings only points up their desperation in trying to counter the facts with spin.

And as far as feeding "a perception of the office's bias toward "exaggerating costs and underestimating savings." - Orszag inadvertently hit the nail on the head. Of course that's what the White House is trying to do. And that makes the CBO reports that much more devastating.

There is a danger that Elmendorf may lose his job over this. If he does, the GOP will raise a stink because the CBO is supposed to be above partisanship.

But that doesn't matter when the wonks are slicing Obama's health care reform ideas to shreds.