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Washington, DC- On Monday, the FreedomWorks Foundation released a Capitol Comment study that explores the federal government’s track record when it comes to estimating the cost of major legislation.
When considering legislative initiatives in Congress, great importance is often attached to the “score,” or cost estimate, given to the bill by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) or other government agencies. The FreedomWorks report assesses the reliability of such estimates.
Through its research, the FreedomWorks Foundation found that although the score is important, it should at best be considered the very least a given bill may cost. At worst, actual costs have been as much as 2,600% higher than initial government estimates.
FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey commented, “This report reveals how often the government severely underestimates the cost of new government programs. Far too often, members of Congress depend on the estimates released by the CBO to determine how they will vote on a piece of legislation. But past reliance upon such scores has lead many of them to vote for bills that ultimately cost American taxpayers billions of dollars more than was originally predicted.
“The CBO recently estimated the 10 year cost of the proposed government takeover of the healthcare system at $848 billion. If history has taught us anything, it is that this estimate will fall woefully short of the total cost of reform. In reality, the bill will likely cost the American people trillions of dollars in new taxes and higher premiums. Congressional Democrats are already moving preemptively to prepare for higher costs by raising the debt ceiling to $14 trillion—a 55 percent increase from where it was when they took control of Congress in 2007.”
To read the study, please click here.