Former George W. Bush Admin Economic Director: CBO Is ‘Part Of The Swamp’

Larry Lindsey, the first director of the National Economic Council under former President George W. Bush, defended his judgement that the Congressional Budget Office is “part of the swamp” on CNBC on Tuesday.

During the discussion on health care, Lindsey rebuked the CBO for being “consistently wrong” with its budget estimates, RealClearPolitics reported Wednesday.

Lindsey, an economist, is known for his controversial stance on the Iraq war budget in 2002. He shot down top Bush administration officials who estimated that the Iraq War would cost about $50 billion to $60 billion. Lindsey said the war could cost between $100 billion and $200 billion and was dismissed from the administration after a shake-up of the White House economic team later that year. The $200 billion estimate was later surpassed.

During the CNBC discussion with Donald Marron Jr., a former acting director of the CBO, Lindsey castigated the CBO for doing a “lousy job” of making estimates, particularly when it comes to health care reform.

“One of the biggest stumbling blocks, and I think this is the point that I sent you earlier, that we have a Congressional Budget Office that is really doing a lousy job of estimating things, particularly on health care reform,” Lindsey said.

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