Saturday, November 3, 2012

Did Republicans Quash CRS Report Saying Cutting Taxes For Wealthy Has No Effect On Expanding Economy?

If you aren't familiar with the Congressional Research Service (CRS), do yourself a favor and look it up. It is the research arm at the disposal of Congress, the source of facts for legislators who are interested in facts (which admittedly not all legislators are). I actually knew one of CRS's team members once. Not only was she committed to responding to requests with reports containing "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth," she grew absolutely livid at any suggestion that the Service was partisan in any way. CRS researchers are career civil service employees; partisan behavior in the context of their jobs could result in dismissal, if not worse.

So here's Andrew Rosenthal at the NYT with the word about this incident:
In a brazen example of putting ideology ahead of reality, Senate Republicans seem to have pressured the Congressional Research Service to withdraw a report debunking conservative economic orthodoxy. Cutting tax rates at the top appears “to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie,” the report said. “However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution.” So charging the rich lower tax rates doesn’t promote economic growth; it merely increases economic inequality.

The CRS is a highly respected, independent agency that prepares reports for members of Congress and routinely issues findings that disappoint or even irritate their clients, who usually just grin and bear it, or at least bear it. But Congressional Republicans seem to think that the CRS should function like Pravda.
And we all know "there is no Truth in Pravda" ...

Don Stewart, a spokesman for the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, said Mr. McConnell and other senators “raised concerns about the methodology and other flaws” in the CRS report. Antonia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for the Senate Finance Committee, said the panel had relayed its objections to the CRS. “We had a good discussion,” she said, “Then it was pulled.”
A good "discussion," indeed... did you threaten them with a sap? Dammit, GOPers, leave the CRS alone. They do you a great service. They do America a great service. If you want politically specific results, publish them yourself. Don't force the feral gummint to do your dirty work for you!

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