Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Picking up immediately where we left off with the war on data

In our last installment, we talked about how delegitimizing trustworthy sources of data and analysis is a fundamental part of Straussianism. What we did not get around to mentioning was that, once the reliable sources have been discredited, less reliable but more malleable alternatives can be put in their place.

From Ed Kilgore:

When former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called for the abolition of CBO back in January, most observers probably chuckled at the old bomb-thrower insisting that an objective assessment of GOP plans would screw everything up. Now that’s rapidly becoming the conventional wisdom. Keep in mind that Republicans, after taking control of both congressional chambers in 2014, hired CBO’s current director, George W. Bush administration veteran Keith Hall. It’s safe to say that Hall hardly resembles Gingrich’s description of CBO as a “left-wing, corrupt, bureaucratic defender of big government and liberalism.”

So what’s the solution? Republicans seem to have found an alternative source of authoritative-sounding numbers that is more ideologically reliable: the Office of Management and Budget, which is directly under the control of the president.

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