Wednesday, July 12, 2006

If you don't want to cut government programs

Just ditch the tool designed to measure their successfulness. From Cato:

The Program Assessment Rating Tool was developed by the Bush administration in 2002 to track the effectiveness of government programs by requiring federal programs and agencies to submit periodic questionnaires describing their goals, progress, and results. PART is a well-intentioned effort to bring financial accountability to the federal government, and in 2005 it won an innovation award from Harvard.

Unfortunately, accountability seems to be a dirty word in Washington. The House Appropriations Committee recently approved a bill that would cut off PART's funding, effectively shutting it down.

The reason? As committee spokesman John Scofield notes, "It's nice to get a cute little number . . . but PART tends to be an excuse to cut Congress' priorities."

Essentially, House appropriators are concerned that increased attention to the ineptitude of the government will compromise their efforts to expand it.

They'll get rid of ear marks and pork when you rip it from their chubby, money grubbing hands.


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