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TU: Economy should work for everyone

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Washington, DC, January 15, 2015 | comments
So-called "dynamic scoring" completely invents a future where unlimited and unpaid-for tax cuts and loopholes for large corporations and the very wealthy create a more prosperous environment for us all – simply to circumvent the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that Republican and Democratic majorities in Congress have used since 1974.
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As printed in the Albany Times-Union on January 15, 2015

Here we go again.

On the very first day of the 114th Congress, U.S. House leadership adopted a new, hyper-partisan and hyper-political rule that has the potential to add billions on top of billions to the federal deficit with every bill that passes.

So-called "dynamic scoring" completely invents a future where unlimited and unpaid-for tax cuts and loopholes for large corporations and the very wealthy create a more prosperous environment for us all — simply to circumvent the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Officethat Republican and Democratic majorities in Congress have used since 1974.

This rule passed with only Republican support, 234-172.

This strategy gives complete leeway to theRepublican House majority to "pretend-then-spend." They're allowing the author of any bill for at least the next two years to invent an outcome where massive giveaways to special interests help everyone — with no budgetary, economic or historic evidence to back up their claims.

When you couple this strategy of dynamic scoring with recent laws and Supreme Courtcases that allow big corporations and the nation's wealthiest to flood Washington with money to get their way, we are entering very dangerous territory.

It is impossible to see into the future. There is no crystal ball to look into and justify our actions. We must let history and proven strategies be our guide. As we have seen time and time again, trickle-down and supply-side economics do nothing to create an economy that works for everyone instead of only the top 1 percent. President George H. W. Bush referred to this as "voodoo economics." And he was absolutely right.

Unfortunately this sets a tone for the next two years of more giveaways to corporations and to those who have the resources to figure out how to take advantage of every loophole out there.

We continue to operate in the Capital Region and in Washington with cautious optimism. Our economy and our nation have slowly improved over the past few years, but the middle class needs help. Although we have seen record highs in the stock market, record lows in the nation's uninsured rate, and 58 straight months of private sector job growth, the middle-class and those working to enter it continue to struggle.

The progress we have made is encouraging but fragile. Despite recent victories, annual wage growth for 90 percent of working Americans remains less than half of the national average. Policies like dynamic scoring do nothing to help these individuals and only serve to divide this country — economically, socially, and culturally — for decades to come.

In Washington, I will continue to support responsible budgets that cut where we can so that we may invest where we must. That type of responsible budgeting does not include this pretend-then-spend voodoo economic strategy that the Republican House leadership has laid out for the 114th Congress.

Paul D. Tonko is a Democrat representing the 20th Congressional District.

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