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The generational wars are about to begin: competing for entitlements, wrestling over taxes, dancing around the deficit. Today's children and grandchildren are tomorrow's taxpayers and social fabric. The authors of Payment Due contend that we are setting those children up for economic disaster. Former Representative Tim Penny (D-Minn.) knows how volatile the politics of the situation are; he retired because he couldn't locate in Congress at large the institutional will (or stomach) to deal with the issues squarely. Political scientist Steven Schier understands the way in which the politics work against economics to solve the problem. Together, they take us inside the Capitol corridors to show us the lobbying, arm twisting, and pork barreling that goes on to derail policies designed to reduce the federal deficit. We get to play the "Washington Monument game" along with the worst of the offenders and to see firsthand how three schools of deficit thought-the wolves, pussycats, and termites-each approach the prospect of cutting back federal outlays and weaning the great middle class from its own welfare dependency. A hallmark of the book is its three-tiered set of long-term entitlement reform proposals, complete with careful documentation of the contribution each recommended item makes toward reducing the federal deficit (or at least slowing its increase). Along with suggested short-term plans, these proposals give students the opportunity to try to solve both short- and long-term problems. Students will appreciate the timeliness and relevance of the book's argument to their generation's future plight, and all readers will benefit from the clear presentation of complex economic concepts and arguments essential to understanding the federal deficit debate-and to confronting the political, social, and moral payments now coming due.
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Editorial Reviews

Contains practical advice on hardware and software requirements for library Internet access, assessing current equipment and purchasing new equipment, and finding and working with low-cost upgrades. Compares different types of Internet services, discusses selecting an Internet provider, and looks at software packages and sources. Includes a glossary and an annotated bibliography of books and periodicals for personal and library use, plus commercial Internet access providers, US and overseas free-nets, and mail-order services. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813325996
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 2/2/1996
  • Series: Dilemmas in American Politics Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 0.42 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Timothy J. Penny (D-Minn.) recently retired from the U.S. House of Representatives, where he led the fight for deficit reduction, and is the author--with Major Garrett--of Common Cents (1995). Timothy J. Penny (D–Minn.) recently retired from the U.S. House of Representatives, where he led the fight for deficit reduction, and is the author—with Major Garrett—of Common Cents (1995). Steven E. Schier author of A Decade of Deficits (1992), is professor of political science at Carleton College and director of the Carleton in Washington program.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgments
1 A Clear and Present Dilemma 1
No Respect 3
Gathering Clouds 4
A Radical Fact 8
A Dilemma Defined 12
Other Voices 14
The Mainstream View 16
Political Messengers 19
2 Origins of the Dilemma 25
The Go-Go Years 27
Juggling Priorities: The Reagan Revolution 33
More Future Burdens: The Social Security Fix 38
The Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Ruse 39
Containing the Mess: The 1990 and 1993 Deals 40
The Big Picture: Trends of Recent Decades 44
Lessons from the Past 47
3 Politics and Institutions: The Dilemma's Context 49
Presidential Strengths and Weaknesses 52
A Congress Consumed by Budgeting 55
Interest Group Powers 63
The Confused Public 66
4 False Starts: Two Failures to Reform 71
Focusing on the Possible: The Penny-Kasich Plan 74
Look but Don't Act: The Kerrey-Danforth Commision 89
5 Principles, Solutions, and Leadership 97
The Duty of Trusteeship 100
Solutions to the Dilemma 102
Reforms for 2030 102
Making Long-Term Choices 108
A Balanced Budget Amendment 109
For and Against the Amendment 110
Doing Deficit Reduction 113
Going Further 119
Principles for Deficit Reduction 120
True Leadership: Risking It All 123
Discussion Questions 127
Glossary 129
Appendix 1 Options for 2030: Long-Term Entitlement Reforms 133
Appendix 2 Deficit Reduction: Specific Options 139
Appendix 3 Other Current Options: Deficit-Reduction Possibilities 147
Notes 151
References 153
To Learn More 159
About the Book and Authors 161
Index 163
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