The Federal Budget: Politics, Policy and Process / Edition 1

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Overview

The U.S. government takes in and spends almost $2 trillion annually, and setting the budget that guides federal spending is an enormously complex undertaking. The federal budget entails the active participation of the president, key advisers, and many members of Congress, the efforts of thousands of staff in the executive and legislative branches, and the attention of numerous interest groups. It consists of thousands of big and small decisions, complicated rules and procedures, and debate over the composition and amount of public revenue and spending. With so much at stake, it is not surprising that budgeting is often a difficult, conflict-laden process. As big as the budget is, there is never enough money to satisfy all demands. As the budget has grown and become more prominent in U.S. political and economic life, the scope for conflict has expanded. In some years the budget is the centerpiece of the president's agenda as well as the vehicle for enacting much of Congress's legislative output. This revised and significantly expanded edition of The Federal Budget concerns the politics and processes of federal budgeting and the policies that emerge from them. It describes how budgeting works at each stage of executive and legislative action —from preparation of the president's budget through the appropriation and expenditure of funds —and assesses the impact of budget rules on policy decisions. It explains how the budget was transformed from deficit to surplus over the past five years and discusses various proposals to change the rules. It analyzes the changes in the appropriations process, friction between the president and Congress, and the reliance on omnibus legislation to resolve budget impasses. In addition to vital statistics and extracts from important documents, the book also features case studies that dramatize contemporary budgetary politics, providing readers with a "you are there" appreciation of how budgeting decisions are made in Washington.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[Schick's] mastery of the arcana of the budget process is on abundant display here.... The volume is indispensable for students and teachers of public policy and public administration." —S.E. Schier, Choice, 10/11/2000

"Award: Outstanding Economic Title" —Irving Rockwood, Choice, 10/30/2000

"This expansion and revision of the 1995 book describes the stages of executive and legislative budgeting and assesses the impact of budget rules on policy decisions. Schick explains how we went from deficit to surplus, analyzes proposals for changes in the rules, and examines problems in current practices." — Public Administration Review, 1/1/2001

Booknews
Explains how budgeting works at each stage of executive and legislative action, and assesses the effects of the procedures on budget politics and policies. Analyzes the early years of Clinton's presidency, discusses budgetary actions affecting social issues, and covers revenue legislation, managing federal expenditures, and the appropriations process. Includes a glossary and numerous tables. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815777250
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Lexile: 1360L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.54 (w) x 9.27 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Allen Schick is a visiting fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a professor of public policy at the University of Maryland. His other books include The Budget Puzzle: Understanding Federal Spending (Stanford University Press, 1994), with Timothy J. Muris and John F. Cogan, and The Capacity to Budget (Urban Institute, 1990).

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Table of Contents

1. Conflict and Resolution in Federal Budgeting
2. The Evolution of Federal Budgeting
3. The Budget's Shifting Boundaries
4. The Political Rules and Arithmetic of Budgeting
5. The President's Budget
6. The Congressional Budget Process
7. Revenue Legislation
8. Authorizing Legislation
9. The Appropriations Process
10. Managing Federal Expenditures
11. Budgeting for the Long Term
Federal Budget-Related Internet Sites
Glossary
Index
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