If you cannot trust government's numbers, you cannot trust government's words. This is the lesson of the House Democrats' desperate promotion of a phony-baloney Congressional Budget Office analysis of their latest health care takeover package.
Democratic leaders leaked a solid-seeming price tag -- $940 billion over 10 years -- before the CBO released any official comment or report. Liberal blogs and mainstream newswires started parroting Democrats' claims that their plan "would cut the deficit by $130 billion over the next decade, and $1.2 trillion in the second decade of the plan's implementation" -- again, before the CBO had released an iota of information, and hours before the House Rules Committee posted the long-awaited reconciliation bill.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn pronounced himself "giddy" over the supposed CBO scoring. Math lover and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proclaimed: "I love numbers. They're so precise."
But "precise" does not mean "accurate." And the most "precise" numbers can be utterly worthless. That is basically what CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf pointed out in his summary of the unofficial preliminary analysis of Demcare: