When it comes to regulating business, the Bush administration insists that cost-benefit analyses are not simply useful but central to its decision-making process. But the president did not insist on his aides performing that kind of analysis before deciding to invade Iraq. The reasons why illustrate many of the fallacies in this approach to regulation and suggest that the concept is far less wise than the administration and its allies believe.
On October 17, The American Prospect cosponsored a conference on campaign finance reform at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Only weeks earlier, reform legislation had died in Congress. Participants in the conference included representatives of public interest organizations and both Democrats and Republicans; the conference received financial support from the Arca, Schumann, and Joyce Foundations, and Alida R. Messinger. Here we present the views of Joan Claybrook and those of Ellen Miller; forthcoming issues will carry additional articles.