05/17/2005 03:03 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Helping Congress Do the Right Thing

Last Friday's base-closing commission report won plaudits from most objective observers, who noted that it was a fair way to evaluate what military bases the nation no longer needs. Everyone seemed to agree that Congress was institutionally incapable of making such determinations on its own, and there is some evidence that if the decision is left solely to the White House politics can also unduly enter into the process.

The findings of an independent commission that the White House and Congress are forced to approve or disapprove in its entirety look like a way out of the morass of special-interest politics. So how about applying that principle to examining other areas of the federal budget, from entitlements to corporate welfare. Here's my take on how it could be done, and a proposal that's before Congress to create a "Sunset Commission" to evaluate outmoded government programs.