Podcast Interview with Douglas Holtz-Eakin

July 25, 2006

Today is Tuesday, which means it’s time for our weekly “Tax Policy Podcast.”

This week’s episode features a conversation with economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and director of the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

It’s a terrific interview, so please listen here. Here’s a clip from the transcript (which is posted here) on the issue of dynamic scoring of tax legislation:

Scott A. Hodge: “…You were on a panel last week which I was at and it was a very interesting panel on dynamic scoring. And you talked about your belief in dynamics and you actually introduced some elements of at least dynamic analysis while you were at the CBO. Tell us a little bit more about that and is dynamic scoring feasible, I guess is the bottom line, and is it desirable?”

Douglass Holtz-Eakin: “I like dynamic scoring because of the scientific foundation. It forces the policy analyst, the legislator, the president, who’s looking at any piece of legislation to think past the budget to its impact on the economy and from that impact back onto the budget. And it transforms as a result any budgetary question into an economic policy question. Good economic policy then will be rewarded by dynamic scoring. That’s the reason why I’m in favor of it.

“Can we do it? Well, we can do it better or worse depending on the particular proposal, but, more importantly, is Congress ready to consume it? And only when Congress has been properly educated on how dynamic scoring works, works out a set of protocols that would actually fit in the budget process to make it feasible to do it on a regular basis, then they’ll be ready to go forward, and then dynamic scoring can be a real live option instead of just an addendum or a piece of policy analysis that can be attached to legislation.”

Read the full transcript here.


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