Faith and fact

The White House hyped the “success” of one of Chuck Colson’s programs, apparently without bothering to read the study (*) showing it didn’t work. [This essay in Slate (*) has some details I missed in my earlier post (*) on the topic.]

It looks as if the President isn’t the only person in the White House who “isn’t a fact-checker.” As long as the story fits the party line, why worry about whether it’s true or not?

Paul Krugman (you know, the one all the conservatives used to admire before he got so shrill and partisan) gives examples from the Treasury Department’s Tax Policy Office*; Fred Kaplan (*) explains how facts weren’t allowed to get in the way of planning for post-war Iraq.

There’s a great essay to be written about the second Bush Administration as our first truly post-modern Presidency.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: