If you watch Game of Thrones on HBO, you know that one of the most memorable and often repeated phrases is a request that someone “bend the knee.”
(If you’re not a GOT watcher or just want a few grins, check out the video below to get the full bend the knee picture.)
What does this have to do with federal spending and revenues?
On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office will quietly issue its version of the mid-session review of the federal budget at 2 pm EDT. Keith Hall, CBO’s director, won’t stand at a podium pounding his chest about the quality of the analysis. CBO will simply let the numbers speak for themselves.
In other words, on Monday…yet again…the Congressional Budget Office will be the epitome of what a federal department or agency should be: solidly substantive, apolitical and uninterested in fame for itself.
The Congressional Budget Office is the only part of the budget process that has been a success.
CBO will issue this report after more than a year of vicious attacks from the Trump administration and its allies. Everyone from Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to Trump hanger-on Newt Gingrich has brutally rebuked and ridiculed CBO because its analyses did not help the White House do what it wanted to do.
Several members of the House Freedom Caucus even tried (but failed miserably) to eliminate CBO’s highly regarded budget analysis division because it didn’t produce numbers that furthered the HFC’s agenda.
Given these scurrilous attacks, CBO almost has the right to defend and promote itself, its staff and its numbers. Instead, it is stoically continuing to do its work.
That makes the Congressional Budget Office the only part of the congressional budget process that has been a success. Every other component of the budget act — especially the budget committees, reconciliation, the timetable and the commitment to getting appropriations enacted by the start of the year — has utterly failed.
For all these reasons, when it comes to the Congressional Budget Office, we should all bend the knee.
Follow Stan Collender on Twitter @thebudgetguy
Don’t Leave Just Yet…There’s so much more here:
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Trump’s Deficits Will Cause Very Serious Challenges For Multiple Generations Of Americans
Here’s What I Told NPR This Morning About The Deficit (Spoiler Alert: It’s Not Pretty)
Trump’s Economic Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics Revealed For All To See
Ryan And McConnell: Lock’em Up
This Is Why Trump Will Shut Down The Government
Raising The Chances Of A Government Shutdown This Fall To 60%
OMB Director Mick Mulvaney Says CBO Was Right After All
You’ve Been Warned: Trump’s Trillion Dollar Budget Deficits Are Here To Stay