Who Watches the Watchmen?

From Plato’s Republic to…well…The Watchmen (2009), the question of “Who watches the watchmen?” has remained unanswered. This problem continues with the government’s stimulus plan with its lack of oversight in spending and accountability for results.

While it’s impossible to know how the economy would have responded without the government’s recovery plans, this didn’t stop the president’s economic advisers from projecting the unemployment rate through 2014 both with and without the recovery plan.


Will the government see this as a failure of the recovery plan? No, rather than admit failure, the administration will likely proclaim the economy was in a worse position than originally estimated.

The government may never own up to its policy mistakes in the light of quantitative economic evidence, but greater transparency in spending can still be achieved, as Auditor General Jack Wagner publicly stated that Pennsylvania is not ready to oversee stimulus spending despite the fact that the costs of government spending databases are well below expectations.

HT: Greg Mankiw