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The Sweet Spot: Reforms must aim to hit the sweet spot of government reform

Baseball players know that to hit the baseball with maximum power you must strike it on a small area of the bat, which they call the “sweet spot.” This term has found its way into many other activities to indicate a happy confluence of factors that result in a moment of perfection. Often it means, as in baseball, realizing the maximum achievement for the amount of effort applied.

A well-designed program will hit the sweet spot of governmental reform: It will achieve a good balance between effort expended and rewards realized, avoiding the mistakes of attempting too little or too much. The reforms must be broad enough to have a transformational impact on the federal government while maintaining a focus that is manageable. And if it is non-partisan, it should find support across the political spectrum, leading to quick action.

Like a “gift that keeps on giving,” fundamental reforms can have a multiplier effect by establishing a structure that will enable further improvements through administrative actions in the future. The benefits from this type of reform will grow and grow and grow.

You might ask: Can a few simple amendments fix the gargantuan bureaucracy in Washington? The answer is that Yes, well-crafted amendments that are simple in concept can still have a profound impact. That is a mark of good law, and can show once again that simple solutions are often the best solution for a problem. They tend to avoid unintended consequences, which is a perennial problem with the complex laws that Washington frequently delivers.

As we design our reforms, we must not lose sight of these important objectives.

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