…In an ideal world, we believe, this would be a time when governmental entities would be able to devote more energy than ever to the use of analysis to make sure that the limited dollars they have to spend are used most effectively and efficiently. Sadly, our ideal world is far from the one any of us live in. In fact, states and cities seem to be moving in precisely the opposite direction. From coast to coast, the very people who have historically been responsible for this kind of thinking are finding themselves out of work. And it’s far more difficult to run a smarter government if you cut out its brains one budgetary shovelful at a time….
…At its peak in 2002, the California Research Bureau (CRB) had more than 40 staffers. Now it has 16….Just north, in Washington State, the state government has been cutting back funding for its well-respected auditor’s office…Go to just about anyplace that compiles studies of local and state performance or cost-effectiveness, or other reports on government activities and you’ll see the dropoff in production.