July 21, 2010

Cutting Spending the BRAC Way

Federal spending, debt, and deficits are at record highs. Both parties acknowledge the need for spending cuts. However, reform is easier said than done. Independent commissions are often suggested as a way to tackle such intractable political problems, but not all commissions are the same. The Base Realignment and Closing (BRAC) commission of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s proved an exemplary solution to such public choice problems.

In the 1980’s, we faced a similar deficit, debt, and spending problem. What lessons can we learn from BRAC? What made it special? What made it successful? Can those lessons be implemented to curb spending now?

Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow Jerry Brito looks at the roots of the Base Realignment and Closing commissions’ success, and what lessons today’s commission proposals could learn from this success story.