10-10-14 – Measure Government Outcome

by Frank Mazur

A few months ago, Rep. Paul Ryan, former GOP candidate for Vice President, offered a thoughtful strategy giving the anti-poverty programs a new direction.  These programs, which were proposed by President Johnson, funneled money to states and municipalities to reduce poverty.  Data now shows despite the infusion of trillions of dollars, poverty hasn’t changed but entitlements and dependency on government has increased.

Ryan’s approach funds block grants to states but it expects work requirements and time limits for aid.  States would provide help to recipients and progress would be measured.   Programs would be focused on recipients becoming more independent rather on “hand-outs” with creative solutions developed at the state and municipal level, not Washington.

There hasn’t been a public debate on Ryan’s proposal.  For too long, federal programs have been funded on measurable data that tell how many people they’re serving but nowhere is it reported on how well we are improving their lives.

It’s time for change…not only on the federal level but also at the state and municipal level.  The private sector strives to create incentives to deliver outcomes at lower costs thereby producing the highest return on investment.  Can you imagine if municipal governments funded departments based on demonstrated successes and not on promises of success?

I applaud Ryan for his approach.  It’s time we budget to improve outcomes which challenge the status quo.  This will require more investment in technology, thinking outside the box, and advance collaboration to do more with less.  The alternative isn’t acceptable.

– Frank Mazur is the former chairman of the Vermont House Transportation Committee and a former member of the Ethan Allen Institute board of directors. 


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ivan Smith October 10, 2014 at 10:57 pm

“The private sector strives to create incentives to deliver outcomes at lower costs thereby producing the highest return on investment.”

Except in health care finance and delivery.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

Latest News

VT Left Wing Media Bias Unmasks Itself

July 24, 2020 By Rob Roper Dave Gram was a long time reporter for the Associated Press, is currently the host of what’s billed on WDEV as a...

Using Guns for Self Defense – 3 Recent Examples

July 24, 2020 By John McClaughry  The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal last week published eleven news stories about citizens using a firearm to stop a crime. Here are...

FERC ruling on solar subsidies could help Vermont ratepayers

July 21, 2020 By John McClaughry Last Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission finalized its updates to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), in what the majority...

The Moderate Left’s Stand for Free Speech

July 17, 2020 By David Flemming Harper’s Magazine, a long-running monthly magazine of literature, politics, culture, finance, and the arts, is hardly what you would call a ‘politically...

Trump’s Regulatory Bill of Rights

July 16, 2020 by John McClaughry “President Trump [last May] issued an executive order entitled  ‘Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery.’ The executive order includes a regulatory bill...