Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Capital Waits as Budget Chief Crunches Numbers

Poor Mr. Elmendorf. Losing friends by the second, he only has his lab to play with these days. As the other public policy majors know all to well, the cost-benefit analysis is an ugly entity, and I don't envy his responsibility. I specifically like Senator Dodd's comment, as it raises important issues over how you value certain benefits that do not have tangible or numerical values, but instead likely reductions in cost in the future due to intangible activities like exercise. As Jones describes, the speculation inherent in lawmaking makes the CBA a real art. And by "art" I mean both something difficult and exacting, but also extremely susceptible to bias. It will be very interesting to see how the CBO evaluates Reid's plan, and how it effects the rest of the health reform's journey through Congress.

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