Update on right-wingers changing the rules
Next up, this I suppose is more of an expansion on something I talked about last week rather than an update.
Last week's Outrage of the Week involved the plan by House GOPpers to attack the federal Disability Insurance program by changing the rules in a way that makes it extremely difficult to keep the program fully funded.
Well, that's not the only example we have of right-wingers trying to change the rules in ways to guarantee themselves a win. Here's another:
It's a new rule adopted by the House of Representatives - henceforth to be known around here as The Asylum - that will require what's called "dynamic scoring" in gauging the budgetary effect of changes in taxes or spending by the federal government.
What the rule does is require that more macroeconomic effects be taken into account when analyzing the cost estimate of "major legislation," work now done by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation. Put more simply, what the GOPpers want to do is to be able to assume that tax cuts will make the economy grow so much that the cuts will pay for themselves in increased revenue from a growing economy.
And if that sounds somehow familiar to some of us older folks, it's because it's what Ronald Reagan's people called "trickle down economics" in the early 1980s before it drove us into one of the worst recessions of the 20th century and ballooned annual federal deficits to six times what they had been before the Reaganites got in. Tragedy, then farce.
If that's not enough, here's another example: a series of bills to hinder the federal rule-making process, particularly on matters involving the environment; the EPA, like Social Security, having been on the right's hit list ever since it came into existence.
One such bill would loosen restrictions on corporate-backed scientists being members of scientific review panels by redefining what constitutes a conflict of interest - a redefinition which would at the same time bar panelists from advising the agency on matters “directly” or “indirectly” involving their own work, which essentially means that the people who actually did the research the panel is considering would not be allowed to defend their work as members.
Other bills would serve to drown the EPA in paperwork or an endless round of industry-inspired lawsuits over every detail of every proposed regulation, delaying such rules for years - if indeed they were ever finalized at all.
As always, those who push these bills say it's all about "accountability" and "transparency" and "fairness." And as always, they are lying through their teeth.
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