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Checks Unbalanced: The Quiet Side of Public Spending

Checks Unbalanced: The Quiet Side of Public Spending

by Herman B. Leonard

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
More than $500 billion in nonappropriated public funds (a sum half the size of the Federal budget) are spent each year without the explicit consent of American taxpayers. Leonard, an economist at Harvard University, identifies and examines the fiscal consequences of what he calls ``quiet spending.'' Quiet spending programs, such as Social Security, Federal loans, and Federal retirement programs share two features, according to the authorthe lack of accurate information about the sums involved, and secondly, these programs evade the accountability and scrutiny of the annual appropriations processes. To control this hidden public spending, Leonard urges that programs now funded with non-appropriated public money be brought into the political hurly-burly of the appropriations process. The issues raised here are important, yet this ponderously written if comprehensive study is likely to be read only by economists and public policy specialists. (April 25)
Library Journal - Library Journal
This book is about ``quiet spending'' whereby substantial amounts of government funds are committed for long periods without the public scrutiny of the annual appropriation process. Such off-budget items as future Social Security obligations and federal loan guarantees are more than half the size of appropriated government spending. Some of the largest types of such spending are discussed in detail. Methods of improving the accountability of such expenditures are examined. Although quite technical at times, Leonard's book is a timely discussion in this age of fiscal restraint. Recommended primarily for larger academic libraries. Richard C. Schiming, Economics Dept., Mankato State Univ., Minn.

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