Running for Cover
This article originally appeared as a Mercatus Working Paper.
With record spending and deficits come calls for reform. Spending reform, however, is easier said than done, and independent commissions are often suggested as a way to tackle intractable political problems. Not all commissions are created the same, however. While baseball and basketball both employ balls, they are entirely different animals. The same applies to congressionally created commissions. The Base Realignment and Closing (BRAC) commissions of the late ’80s and early ’90s were successful because of their peculiar structure—not simply because they were independent commissions. In this article we first look at the roots of BRAC’s success and then compare it to today’s commission proposals.
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