Why Budgets Matter

Budget Policy and American Politics; Revised and Updated Edition

By (author) Dennis S. Ippolito

Paperback - £27.95

Publication date:

15 November 2015

Length of book:

368 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271071138

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.

“Ippolito’s analysis of the budget process is an important contribution to the literature on the American budget process. It is unquestionably one of the best books on the subject, similar in scope to Aaron Wildavsky’s classic The New Politics of the Budgetary Process (1988). Overall, Why Budgets Matter: Budget Policy and American Politics is an excellent historical account of the federal budget process, and it is intended for a general adult reading audience.”

—Patrick Fisher, Perspectives on Political Science, on the first edition