Lies, damned lies & statistics: Reconciling reconciliation

The Republicans will say anything, no matter how unencumbered by fact, if they think it will hurt their opponents and return the GOP to power. Currently, they are shocked --shocked -- that to pass health care reform the Democratic majority plans to use "reconciliation," a wonky term for a legislative process that allows a bill to be adopted by a simple majority, as if the Republicans had never employed the mechanism themselves when they controlled Congress.

"Consider three bills -- two of them passed under budget reconciliation, the third heading for budget reconciliation. Each had an effect on the fiscal health of the nation, calculated by the Congressional Budget Office. The first two, the tax cuts pushed by President George W. Bush, blew a hole in the budget.

The third, the Senate's health reform bill? As you can see from the CBO projection, that's a different story." -- from The Rachel Maddow Show blog, based on a graph originally prepared by Econbrowser.

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