Democrats will be pointing to this preliminary CBO score as if it is engraved on stone tablets. Republicans will proclaim their respect for the CBO and proceed to argue that its estimates should not be taken too seriously in this instance. This may come as a surprise, but I think the Republican argument is closer to correct. To crow, as did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that the package is "a triumph for the American people in terms of deficit reduction" is premature at best, delusional at worst.
That's none other than Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus -- no conservative acolyte she -- in an op-ed today entitled in the print edition, "Score one for skepticism."
As Marcus went on to explain, the central flaw in taking the CBO numbers as the gospel truth is that (emphasis mine):