Philip G. Joyce

swimminghersheyΠολεοδομικά Έργα

25 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 6 μήνες)

39 εμφανίσεις

Philip G. Joyce

Maryland School of Public Policy

August 30, 2011


Created by the Congressional Budget and
Impoundment Control Act of 1974


Goals of 1974 Budget Act


Make Congress a stronger player in budget process


Encourage Congress to look at overall fiscal policy


CBO’s Role in This


Provide an alternate economic and budget forecast


Inform the Congress on the impact of economic and budget
decisions


Do cost estimates of legislation


All of this is to happen in a nonpartisan manner


Director Chosen by Congressional Leadership


8 directors since creation


Four nominal Democrats and four nominal Republicans


First director was Alice
Rivlin


CBO Organization


Budget Analysis Division

budget baseline, cost estimates


Macroeconomic Analysis Division

economic forecast


Policy Analysis Divisions

do longer term studies


Total of approximately 250 employees



Rivlin

made something ambiguous into something
concrete


Leadership was key to developing and sustaining
culture


Key events, mostly related to Presidential proposals,
solidified CBO’s role and reputation


CBO has tended to keep executive branch (OMB)
honest


CBO Role in Clinton v. Obama health reform



Statute said director and staff appointed “without
regard to political affiliation”


Rivlin

clarified that into nonpartisan BEHAVIOR, and
no recommendations


She also made it clear that CBO would to an alternate
economic forecast and baseline


Key initial event was March 1975 meeting where three
goals set:


Agency highly respected and nonpartisan


Initiative kept within CBO


Major written products “in a form readable by Congressmen”


Initially
Rivlin

and other leaders establishing culture


Drilling ethic of nonpartisanship into employees


Uncompromising (stubborn?) in sticking to vision, in spite of
efforts by some in Congress


Subsequent directors reinforced that vision


Penner
-
”a Republican Alice
Rivlin



O’Neill

resisted the pressure to gut the organization


Crippen

and Holtz
-
Eakin

(even coming from Bush
administration) on dynamic scoring


Initial Carter budgets and Carter energy policy


Reagan budget proposals in 1981


Gramm
-
Rudman and “rosy scenarios”


Health reform 1994


Health reform 2009/10


Default debate 2011


Without exception, these involved Presidential
proposals


Formally


Economic and budget forecast


During some periods, had to compare estimates


Informally


OMB forecasts moderated by knowledge that CBO will weigh
in


Give support to OMB career staff arguing for the “right”
analysis


CBO has replaced OMB as the source of “honest
numbers”


Similarities


Widely understood that
CBO role important


Focus on deficit effects


President elevated CBO


WH interested before the
fact


Influence not “grabbed”
but “given”


Support by Budget
Committees


Differences


Clinton “all or nothing”;
Obama iterative


Obama: Advance signals
from CBO on scoring,
budget treatment issues


Congress v. President
(Clinton); House v.
Senate (Obama)


Big public event (Clinton);
lots of smaller milestones
(Obama)


CBO better positioned
analytically for Obama


How does the agency organize to integrate policy
analysis and budget analysis?


When does skepticism become bias?


When is nonpartisanship just an excuse for
conservatism?


How does it stay in the mainstream of economic
thought?


Can CBO have influence when no one is listening?


How high a profile should CBO maintain?


How does CBO maintain credibility of its estimates?
(Why should we trust CBO?)


Crucial initial decision

separating policy analysis
from budget analysis


Important because BAD could protect the program divisions
and allow them to cultivate clients


Fear was that organizing by function would lead to budget
analysis forcing out budget analysis


Challenges


Resisting stovepipes where the two “sides” of CBO do not
communicate


Policy analysis can be disconnected from the calendar


Budget analysis can fail to account for most recent thinking


Budget office are skeptics


There is good reason for this, since people ARE trying to
get a free lunch


Holtz
-
Eakin
--
CBO’s null is not that CBO is right; it’s that
you are wrong


This means, however, that CBO is potentially biased against
innovative ideas


It may be that this is just an effective counterbalance
against fuzzy thinking


It opens agency up to, at a minimum, lots of frustrated
clients


Norm of nonpartisanship preserves CBO’s influence


Manifests itself in “on the one hand, on the other”


But sometimes there is no credible argument on the other hand


Might nonpartisanship become an excuse for saying
nothing? (like the Fed)


Particular challenge

budget process and concepts
changes


Reischauer

BBA is a “cruel hoax” (as opposed to “supporters
say” and “opponents say”)



Macro
--
CBO Tries to Stay in the Mainstream


Panel of Economic Advisers


Informal checks
--
Blue Chip Forecast, executive forecast


Tax Estimates Not Done by CBO


Dynamic Scoring


Have always included behavioral effects


But how far do you go?


Estimates of Bush budget in 2003 found little economic
feedback effects


Again, bias is toward the middle of the mainstream


Analysis is just analysis


CBO directors have sometimes tried to exercise influence
more informally


Rivlin

with Carter energy


Various directors and the media


Good example of CBO warnings going unheeded was
analysis of GSE risks


CBO warnings began almost 20 years before the eventual takeover


CBO not alone here

GAO, OFHEO, Fed ignored as well


This is a particular problem for policy analysis products


In case of cost estimates, Congress has to listen


Problem from the beginning (1977 House report on
support agencies led with statement that CBO
“maintains too high a profile”)


Substantial attention, from the beginning, to quality of
work


Key unanticipated role of CBO has been public
education, through media



A lot of this is just attention to nonpartisanship


In addition, it is crucial for CBO to maintain an
internally consistent set of rules (may be more
important than “accuracy”)


It is challenging when the baseline lacks credibility


CBO can be more transparent about its forecasting
record than its cost estimating record


Should more effort be made (and can it) to evaluate and
publicize cost estimating successes and failures?




Does political system support independent legislative
budget authority?


Is there a need for keeping the numbers “honest” and
what is the best structure for that?


Does the analytical capacity exist?


Are there other reforms that are more important?



U.S. by Design, has separate and equal branches


Is that a good idea?


In other countries?


Even in the U.S.?


Difficult to have legislative independence without
independent analytical capacity


Does this rob essential institutions (MOF)?


Is a tendency for governments to produce self
-
serving
numbers


An independent fiscal institution can offset that
tendency


Does this create unnecessary confusion?


Is a CBO
-
type organization the only option for
maintaining honesty?


What are other possible means?



Necessary analytical capacity


Macroeconomic forecasting


Budget (cost) analysis


Policy analysis


Are there universities producing such expertise?


Does an independent fiscal agency simply dilute the
available capacity?


There may be MUCH larger problems than the lack of
an independent fiscal agency


Possibilities


Economic and budget forecasting


Accounting systems


Treasury management


Capital planning and budgeting


Program evaluation


Any country should establish priorities for reform