Reports of a recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, showing that the vast majority of the money in the stimulus package won’t be spent until after 2010, have Democrats on the defensive and the GOP calling for a pullback in wasteful spending.
Funny thing is, there is no such report.
“We did not issue any report, any analysis or any study,” a CBO aide told the Huffington Post.
Rather, the nonpartisan CBO ran a small portion of an earlier version of the stimulus plan through a computer program that uses a standard formula to determine a score — how quickly money will be spent. The score only dealt with the part of the stimulus headed for the Appropriations Committee and left out the parts bound for the Ways and Means or Energy and Commerce Committee.
Because it dealt with just a part of the stimulus, it estimated the spending rate for only about $300 billion of the $825 billion plan. Significant changes have been made to the part of the bill the CBO looked at.
The CBO numbers were given to a small number of congressional Democrats and Republicans, but were not posted online because they’re not an official CBO product. (Media outlets, while reporting widely about the “report,” have declined to post it online. Here’s the whole thing.) Democratic aides say they are certain that the GOP leaked it to the Associated Press in order to undercut the spending portion of the stimulus.
I promised to myself that never again would I be as gullible as I was during the Bush years, but I really don’t know what the appropriate level of skeptical is for Republicans right now. Even after losing their asses in the last two elections, facing numerous crises, here they are just flat-out making shit up on arguably the most important topic of the day.
From now on, anything the Republicans say I am just going to have to assume is a lie, until proven otherwise. I don’t know how else to handle this, as they simply can not be trusted to tell the truth or do the right thing, regardless what the stakes are.