The Need for Macroeconomic Scoring
Elected officials can’t strengthen the economy if they don’t even know how their decisions affect the economy. For that very reason, Congress relies on two nonpartisan organizations to prepare cost estimates of legislation: the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation. And for that same reason, the House is modifying one of its rules to make greater use of their work.
A cost estimate is like a price tag. It adds up all the expected changes in revenue and outlays over a ten-year period and gives a net sum (or “score”) of a bill’s impact on the deficit. CBO prepares estimates for most legislation (other than revenue bills), while JCT prepares estimates for changes in the tax code.