March 17, 2009

Stimulating Accountability

Maurice P. McTigue

Vice President, Outreach

Jerry Ellig

Former Senior Research Fellow

Jerry Brito

Former Senior Research Fellow

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

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

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

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 Recovery.gov 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.