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Why Budgets Matter: Budget Policy and…

Why Budgets Matter: Budget Policy and American Politics

by Dennis S. Ippolito

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0271022604, Paperback)

Much of what government does depends on money. From the nation's founding until today, conflicts over the powers to tax, spend, and borrow have been at the heart of American politics. Why Budgets Matter is a comprehensive account of how these conflicts over budget policy have shaped national politics by determining the size and role of the federal government. The history of budget policy provides a unique perspective on political change in the United States and helps explain how and why the federal government has grown over time. Dennis Ippolito reviews the different stages of this development-from the era of small government prior to the Civil War through the dramatic transformations of the New Deal and Cold War up to the current challenges of modernizing the welfare state-and shows how each of these stages reflected a dominant vision of the size and role of the federal government, incorporating particular spending, tax, and borrowing philosophies and policies. Why Budgets Matter offers new insights into the enduring debate over 'limited government' versus 'big government' in the United States and will be a valuable resource for students, scholars, and policymakers seeking a better understanding of the background to the fiscal problems we face today.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:35 -0400)

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When the first edition of Why Budgets Matter was published in 2003, the federal budget had fallen back into deficit. At the time, fairly modest changes in taxes and spending would have ensured that deficits and debt would remain at tolerable levels. Instead, the disconnect between taxes and spending that had plagued the United States since the 1960s grew even greater. A near-catastrophic economic collapse beginning in December 2007 then magnified the fiscal consequences of irresponsible policy choices. This new edition examines how and why the balanced-budget equilibrium of the 1990s was destabilized in the 2000s. It also places this latest partisan battle over the size of government in historical perspective by exploring its connection to earlier budget policy eras.… (more)

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