Created in 1974, the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has
become one of the most influential forces in national policymaking.
A critical component of our system of checks and balances, the CBO
has given Congress the analytical capacity to challenge the
president on budget issues while it protects the public interest,
providing honest numbers about Congress's own budget proposals. The
book discusses the CBO's role in larger budget policy and the more
narrow "scoring" of individual legislation, such as its role in the
2009-2010 Obama health care reform. It also describes how the first
director, Alice Rivlin, and seven successors managed to create and
sustain a nonpartisan, highly credible agency in the middle of one
of the most partisan institutions imaginable.
The Congressional Budget Office: Honest Numbers, Power, and
Policy draws on interviews with high-level participants in the
budget debates of the last 35 years to tell the story of the CBO. A
combination of political history, economic history, and
organizational development, The Congressional Budget
Office offers an important, first book-length history of this
Subjects: Political Science
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