Except in Jeopardy!, questions usually come first, followed by answers. Likewise, when criticizing public policy studies and their underlying methodologies, it typically helps to see the policy study and methodology used before one embarks on criticism.

Today at 8:37 a.m. ET, Matt Yglesias of the Center for American Progress’ Think Progress blog released a critique of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis (CDA) econometric analysis of the federal budget for FY 2012 proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Yglesias’ posting preceded Heritage’s public release of the CDA’s study and the detailed description of how we prepared our analysis. In the interest of answering questions after they were asked (before our study was released), we sat down with Bill Beach, the director of Heritage’s CDA, for some Q&A in response to criticisms and questions concerning our study

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