Stimulating Accountability

Mar 17, 2009
Rayburn House Office Building B-340

Event Speakers

Jerry Brito

Former Senior Research Fellow

Jerry Ellig

Former Senior Research Fellow

Maurice P. McTigue

Vice President, Outreach


Jerry Brito, JD
Senior Research Fellow
Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Dr. Jerry Ellig
Senior Research Fellow
Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Click Here to view Dr. Ellig's presentation.

Hon. Maurice McTigue
Director, Government Accountability Project
Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Click Here to view Hon. McTigue's presentation.

With the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act the U.S. Congress marked a new strategy in combatting economic uncertainty. In order to make certain that appropriated funds will be spent quickly and wisely, new accountability measures have been incorporated, including the use of and stringent oversight. Such accountability reforms often focus on holding agencies responsible for producing outcomes - tangible benefits that citizens value. Meanwhile, the United States will run unprecedented budget deficits in fiscal years 2008 and 2009, and possibly into the future as well. When comparing the U.S. fiscal experience with the experiences of other nations, we find that America is also reaching a level of deficit as percent of GDP that prompted other countries to adopt significant rule-changes to promote budget accountability. Discussion on these issues will help ensure that stimulus funds are truly spent wisely and within a responsible budget.

To this end, the Mercatus Center is pleased to host a panel of distinguished scholars to share their perspective on these questions:

  • How does the U.S. compare to other industrialized countries who have had major budget deficits?
  • How large do budget deficits grow before there are calls for greater budget accountability on the part of government? What instruments have other nations used to control costs when this point is reached?
  • What kind of measures for accountability have been built into the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act? How can we improve upon the measures already in place?
  • How can technology be used as a tool to promote accountability?