A policy analyst at the Cato Institute, Adam Schaeffer was preparing a talk on school choice in Indiana. He thought it would be a good idea to try to get the cost of K-12 education for state and local governments. “I say ‘try,'” Schaeffer wrote, “because I know getting a good, recent, comprehensive total K-12 spending figure is not easy.”
Schaeffer submitted the request and was told to go through the department’s lawyer. You can listen to a hilarious exchange between Schaeffer and an increasingly irritated spokesman, who ultimately hangs up in his face. “I need to ask your lawyer?” says an incredulous Schaeffer, who is polite but bemused throughout the encounter. Schaeffer asks if a parent could call and get the information. “I’m just telling you what our legal department said,” the spokesman keeps repeating in a singsong tone. Then she hangs up.
“Indiana is no special case in this regard; it’s a problem across the country,” Schaeffer generously after his encounter. Of course, this should be easily available public information. It’s public money that is being spent. I have to say that, as a former reporter, I have had many such encounters with bureaucrats. I can hardly wait until they are in control of my health care.