Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray Hope Analytics Can Create Better Governance

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We live in a “post-moneyball” world. Everything from election results to your choice of college to NBA draft picks uses analytics. Well, not everything…


As one would expect, Congress looks to be behind the times, but Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray want to rectify that. In new bipartisan legislation introduced last week, the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act of 2015 would use federal government data on programs and policies to help create better policy decisions in the future. The bill looks to accomplish this by having Congress create a 15 member panel – consisting of experts from various fields – that would evaluate government data and decide how to make it more accessible to researchers so they could give better feedback during policy making sessions.


Now if you’re wondering, “doesn’t the government already do this?” My initial response would be to first mock you…


the simpsons laughing


And then tell you no.


Multiple studies have been done showing that very little policy making is actually backed by hard evidence. While definitely a scary thought, it makes sense once you take “Washington culture” into account. The policy making process in Washington is riddled with competing interests from all sides, usually final forms of bills make little sense in how they are actually implemented. In many cases they become amalgamations of various policy interests, which eventually abandon the bill’s original intentions.


The introduction of this type of legislation has the potential to improve the policy making process in Washington. However, similar bills like the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act have died quick deaths in the past with each side worrying that the government data could be used against their best interests. Still, many are hopeful this time around. With both party leaders backing this legislation, along with the Obama administration pushing for it to pass, there is hope that the measure will be made into law.


And if not, there’s always the statistical bullshitting. It’s work thus far… I guess.


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(Photo Credit: Google Images)


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