I feel for CBO director Doug Elmendorf. He is stuck between Democrats who are giving him fabricated Obamacare numbers to base his estimates on and his duty to give the Congress accurate information.
Yesterday, Elmendorf got it right. Testifying before the House Budget Committee, the Weekly Standard Blog relates the following exchange between Elmendorf and members:
That's one number the Democrats won't be able to fudge.
Chairman [Paul] Ryan: "[I]t's been argued...that the new health care law will create jobs and increase labor force participation. But if I recall from your analysis, it was quite the opposite. Is that not the case?"
Director [Douglas] Elmendorf : "Yes."...
Rep. [John] Campbell: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, we'll -- and Dr. Elmendorf -- and we'll continue this conversation right now. First on health care, before I get to -- before I get to broader issues, you just mentioned that you believe -- or that in your estimate, that the health care law would reduce the labor used in the economy by about 1/2 of 1 percent, given that, I believe you say, there's 160 million full-time people working in '20-'21. That means that, in your estimation, the health care law would reduce employment by 800,000 in '20-'21. Is that correct?
Director Elmendorf: Yes. The way I would put it is that we do estimate, as you said, that...employment will be about 160 million by the end of the decade. Half a percent of that is 800,000.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky