Should U.S. Taxpayers Be Funding the Brookings Institution? by Michael Krieger

Well here’s a surprise. When a think tank receives funding from the government, its thoughts turn to the multitudinous  blessings of government. Imagine! From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

Today’s post highlights an interesting audit on the Brookings Institution by Open the Books, which reveals considerable tax payer funding for the so-called “think tank.” The question is how much thinking is really being done, and are taxpayers getting their money’s worth?

Here’s some of what Open the Books’ Adam Andrzejewski had to say on the matter in a recent Forbes article, Brookings Institution — The Progressive Jukebox Funded By U.S. Taxpayers:

Washington, D.C. is known for its monuments, but it is also known for its “ivory tower” think tanks. These institutions can serve a valuable role in providing dispassionate and empirical analysis in divided times. One of the pre-eminent D.C. think tanks is the Brookings Institution, which has nearly half-a-billion dollars in assets and deep ties to political leaders on the left.

According to Brookings, its mission is to “conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.” Brookings says it values the independence of its scholars and prides itself on “open-minded” inquiry.

Yet, public spending records captured by our organization at OpenTheBooks.com tell a somewhat different story. Rather than focusing on “open-minded” inquiry, Brookings seems swayed by “open-wallet” inquiry. In many cases, Brookings doesn’t resemble a think tank, but a jukebox – add a little coin and Brookings will play your tune, if the price is right.

And these aren’t just dollars provided by private donors — these are your tax dollars funding partisan advocacy projects and papers.

Since 2008, Brookings amassed nearly $20 million in contracts and grants from 50 agencies – including the Obama Administration’s Office of the President. Despite assets of $496 million (IRS990, FY2014), our OpenTheBooks.com audit shows it was not enough. Brookings instituted an aggressive strategy to pursue federal business over the past nine-years.

To continue reading: Should U.S. Taxpayers Be Funding the Brookings Institution?

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