October 14, 2009
This is the way Washington works. Congress establishes a Congressional Budget Office for the purpose of obtaining unbiased and accurate information on what bills will cost the taxpayers. Then, when it delivers a finding the ruling authorities don't like - as on the Sen. Max Baucus bill that has not been written - the head of CBO gets an invitation to the White House to meet with the president.
After that meeting, the CBO performs a miracle. The same bill that hasn't been written is now forecast to not only cost less than originally thought, but it will produce a surplus! That's right. Only in Washington can a spending bill that isn't written and which will cost a fortune result in a surplus.
When the insurance industry conducts a survey that finds if the unwritten bill is passed it will cost the average family of four an additional $4,000 in premiums, that finding is dismissed as biased. But the CBO under pressure and an unwritten bill are factual. And now you know how dysfunctional Washington works.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.