Trying To Make Government Work Better

Posted by | December 5, 2011 10:14 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Hopefully one thing we can agree on is that if a government program exists, then we should endeavor to make the program work as well as possible.  Well maybe we can’t all agree on even that.

To tackle that problem — to make the initiatives more effective and accountable — the Bush administration created a pilot program tying federal financing to policy outcomes. States could get federal financing if they put in place research-supported best practices.

There are now six such “evidence-based” pilot programs that make taxpayer dollars contingent on results and that would seem to have natural appeal to Congressional Republicans. But they are under threat from a House proposal that eliminates all federal financing for four of the six programs,and significantly cuts money for a fifth.

This just feeds into the suspicion that Republicans don’t want government programs to work more effectively or to find out if they work at all.  Either one of these outcomes would cut into their argument on spending and cutting taxes (for the wealthy of course).  And nothing can interfere with that.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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