Congressional Budget Office vs. postmodernism

In the debate over health care reform, both sides acted as if they inhabited different realities. But they both accepted the evaluations of the Congressional Budget Office as objective and fair.

It is remarkable that any institution should have an authority that is accepted by all side, if you considered the polarized nature of today’s politics. And the Congressional Budget Office is not alone in this respect. The National Institutes of Health, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Government Accountability Office, the National Academy of Sciences and many other institutions in and out of government can be relied upon for facts and non-partisan judgments.

It runs exactly counter to the version of postmodern philosophy which says there is no such thing as truth and falsehood, only individual subjective viewpoints – a philosophy which seems to underlie a great deal of politics and journalism nowadays.

We can’t take the integrity of such institutions for granted. They could easily become as partisan and political as the Supreme Court. Or they could be shut down, like the Office of Technology Assessment in 1995. There is a neverending struggle between those who desire to know the truth and those who desire not to know the truth.

Click here for an article on reviving the Office of Technology Assessment.

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