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Resoundingly Human

Jun 4, 2021

A well-known phrase often credited to Benjamin Franklin in the early days of our country (though its origins are actually much earlier) states that “in this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.”

And this certainly remains true, as every spring just like clockwork, we faithfully fill out and submit our state and federal taxes, and bemoan any money owed, or celebrate any unexpected returns.

But with a U.S. federal budget topping $2 trillion … wait how many zeros is that? … it would be nice to know a little more about exactly how the government is spending our tax dollars. And while there are systems in place to make sure the government sticks to its budgets, new research shows there may also be ways around this …

Joining me to discuss their work, which will be featured in the INFORMS journal Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, are Dwaipayan Roy, Anant Mishra and Kingshuk Sinha, all with the University of Minnesota. Their study, “Taxing the Taxpayers: An Empirical Investigation of the Drivers of Baseline Changes in the U.S. Federal Government Technology Programs,” looks at how certain government programs are overseen, how effective the budget monitoring in these areas really is, and what opportunities exist for more clarity and improvement.