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||Politics, Law, and Government/U.S. Public Policy and Administration
Addressing an issue of burning interest to every taxpayer, a Heritage Foundation scholar brings objective analysis to bear as he responds to the important—and provocative—question posed by his book's title.
Of course, the answer to that question will also help determine whether the American public should fear budget cuts to federal social programs. Readers, says author David B. Muhlhausen, can rest easy. As his book decisively demonstrates, scientifically rigorous national studies almost unanimously find that the federal government fails to solve social problems. To prove his point, Muhlhausen reports on large-scale evaluations of social programs for children, families, and workers, some advocated by Democrats, some by Republicans. But it isn't just the results that matter. It's the lesson to readers on how Americans can—and should—accurately assess government programs that cost hundreds of billions of dollars each year.
At the book's core is an insistence that we move beyond anecdotal reasoning and often-partisan opinion to measure the effectiveness of social programs using objective analysis and scientific methods. At the very least, the results of such analysis will, like this book, provide a sound basis for much-needed public debate.
- Details how federal social programs should be evaluated for effectiveness and provides detailed legislative language to accomplish this task
- Discusses federal spending on social programs as it relates to the current debt crisis
- Quiets fears that substantially reduced spending on federal social programs will produce harmful effects
- Author Info
"A provocative work on an important public policy issue. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels."
"In 1984, Charles Murray's Losing Ground awakened social scientists and policymakers to the fact that many government programs were not performing, and to the need for rigorous metrics of success and failure. Now comes David B. Muhlhausen with a book that advances that project by presenting an avalanche of inconvenient evidence."
"David Muhlhausen has brought together the results of the most important evaluations of federal social programs, laid out those results in full technical detail, and thereby done me and every other student of social policy an invaluable service. Anyone who wants to dispute his conclusion that federal social programs have failed must confront the evidence he presents—and that evidence is overwhelming."
- Look Inside