“Americans may have found common ground in their dismal ratings of government performance,” Professor Light writes in a new report looking ahead to the 2016 presidential election, “but are now primed for a divisive fight over the appropriate fix.”
The 2016 presidential election is almost certain to feature tough questions about reforming the federal government. First, should the next president cut federal programs to reduce the power of government? Second, should he or she winnow down the federal agenda to a smaller set of priorities, or accept the current priorities and focus on reducing inefficiency?
New York University Professor Paul C. Light will, on Friday, April 24 at 11:30 a.m., release a new report on this potent issue, entitled "How Government Reform Will Shape the 2016 Election." The event will take place at The Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., 8th Floor Conference Room, Washington, D.C. Media coverage is invited.
As Light shows in his report, the 2016 candidates for president need put together a winning coalition on the topic of government reform. But this is no easy task. Republicans will need a strong message on the issue to win the nomination but cannot alienate key voting groups. Democrats will want to attack important problems with effective and efficient solutions but must also address the bureaucratic catastrophes that give the public reason to wonder whether the federal government can deliver on its vision.
“Americans may have found common ground in their dismal ratings of government performance,” Light writes, “but are now primed for a divisive fight over the appropriate fix.”
Light’s research describes the votes and turnout of four newly identified voting groups: (1) the “re-inventors” who want to maintain government programs and focus on inefficiency; (2) the “streamliners” who want to cut government programs and also focus on inefficiency; (3) the "priority-setters" who want to maintain government programs but winnow the federal agenda to their liking; and (4) the “dismantlers” who want to cut government programs and also winnow the agenda to their very different liking.
A nationally recognized expert on the federal service and governmental and organizational performance who teaches at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, Paul C. Light will be on hand at The Brookings Institution to discuss the report’s findings and field questions from the press. For further information, please contact Robert Polner, NYU media liaison, at the phone number or email address listed with this release.