June 20, 2013Article

Marketplace: Could ‘Moneyball’ Solve Government Fiscal Woes?

by Interview with Peter Orzag and John Bridgeland by Kai Ryssdal

Federal/ Economic/Moneyball For Government/ 2013/

For every partisan issue in Congress, the very root of disagreement between the two parties is money, and how the government should spend it. But it turns out that Congress isn’t spending its money very wisely at all — and that goes across the aisle. “Our estimates suggest that less than $1 out of a $100 the government spends is backed by any solid evidence that it actually achieves its objectives,” says Peter Orszag, who used to head the Office of Management and Budget for President Obama.

He co-authored an article in the July/August edition of The Atlantic magazine with John Bridgeland, the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council for George W. Bush.

The two suggest a Moneyball Index to get Congress to look more closely at data when considering what to fund and what to defund with government money. “If you’re consistently voting for things that have been shown not to work, the public should know that” explains Orszag. “The hope would be that that would pressure members of Congress to stop behaving that way.” A public shaming, if you will.