Each Chapter ends with a "Thumbnail" summary, Web Site Resources, and Review Questions.
PREFACE: A NOTE OF WELCOME AND APPRECIATION
A Different Take on the Subject
Organization and Learning Style
About the Authors
INTRODUCTION. BUDGETING AND DEMOCRACY
CHAPTER 1. FOLLOW THE MONEY
What Is the Public Sector?
Why Do We Need to Make Political Choices?
Not a Brawl
Do the Choices Matter?
Limits to Budgeting
How Does Democracy Affect Budgeting?
Stewardship and Efficiency
What Is a Good Budget?
Case: A Lesson in Political Muscle
CHAPTER 2. WE THE PEOPLE: POWER AND PARTICIPATION
Do We Vote Our Budget Choices?
Voting Bundles, Not Budgets
Voting Political Parties
Voting Core Political Beliefs
What Does Governing Mean?
Can Citizens Speak to Political Leaders?
Transparency and Meaningful Participation
Voting Directly on Budget Choices
Are Citizens Self-Interested Rational Actors?
Emotional Language of Budgetary Politics
How Political Ideology Affects Budgeting
Is Lobbying Legitimate in Budgetary Politics?
How and Why We Lobby
Does Public Opinion Influence Budgetary Politics?
Do Leaders Listen?
Interpreting Public Opinion
Case: Advocacy Strategy, Advocacy Ethics
CHAPTER 3. FAIRNESS AND TRUST IN BUDGETARY POLITICS
Are Taxes Fair?
The Public's Perspective
Notions of Tax Fairness
Taxes and Income Inequality
Fiscal Federalism and Tax Fairness
Is Spending Fair?
The Politics of Redistribution
Spending across the States
Political and Budgetary IOUs
Are Citizens Satisfied with Performance?
Does Citizen Trust or Distrust Matter?
Case: What Do You Think?
CHAPTER 4. PROCESS MATTERS
How Is the Budget "Game" Played?
How Did We Get Here?
What Is Executive Budgeting?
How Does Executive Budgeting Work?
Executive Formulation and Submission
Bouncing Off the Base
- Legislative Call
- Appeals and Issue Networks
- Budget Strategies
Significance of Stage One
Legislative Review and Appropriation
Review of the Executive Budget Request
Limits on Legislative Powers
Line-Item Appropriations and Veto Power
Implementation and Audit
Allotments and Rescissions
War and the Federal Budget Process
After the Books Are Closed
Summary of the Executive Process
Why Take a Political Perspective?
How Does the Federal Entitlement Process Work?
The Art of the Budget Process
Case: A Package Deal
CHAPTER 5. PUTTING THE PUZZLE TOGETHER
What Rules Guide Putting the Budget Pieces Together?
Fiscal Rules for the Federal Government
Fiscal Rules for State and Local Governments
Fiscal Rules Are Norms
What Is a Balanced Budget?
Revision of the Budget during the Year
The "Is" of a Balanced Budget
What Happens When There Is No Budget or the Budget Is Not in Balance?
Financing the Deficit by Issuing Debt
State and Local Government Debt
Is the Budget Sustainable Over Time?
Rainy Day Budgeting
Public Sector Employee Benefits
Case: Insulating Politicians by Letting a Commission Do the Heavy Lifting on What to Cut
CHAPTER 6. SPENDING PUBLIC RESOURCES
How Much Are We Spending?
Internal Dynamics: Percent Change and Growth Rate
- Changing Prices
- Economic Change
- Social Change
A Slice of the Pie
Cost Structure Makes a Difference
Workforce and Payroll
Employee Benefits and Unpaid Bills
Why Is Some Federal Spending Kept Secret?
What Is the Cost of the "War on Terror"?
What Does Counterterrorism Cost?
What Are We Getting for the Money?
Why Do Budgets Grow?
Case: A Difficult Dilemma
CHAPTER 7. A TAXING SUBJECT: RAISING PUBLIC RESOURCES
Why Do We Pay for Public Services?
Willingness to Pay
Revenue Systems Serve Different Functions
Revenue and Civic Engagement
Strategies for Public Support
Who Makes Revenue Policy?
Political Pressure on Technical Experts
Revenue Power outside the Beltway
Political Pressure on Decision Makers
What Types of Revenue Does the Public Sector Use?
The Property Tax
The Income Tax
The Sales and Use Tax
How Do Taxes Work?
The Sticky Problems of Tax Administration
Rules that Limit Tax Uses and Tax Increases
Nominal versus Effective Tax Rate
What Are the Five Principles of Taxation and How Are They Applied?
Applying Tax Principle #1: How Does Tax Policy Affect Economic Growth?
Applying Tax Principle #2: What Is Efficient Taxation?
Applying Tax Principle #3: How Can Tax Policy Be Economical?
Price of Government
Revenue Yield Over Time
Applying Tax Principle #4: How Does Transparency Make Taxation Responsive?
Applying Tax Principle #5: What Is a Fair Tax?
Taxes in the Global Economy
Can Governments Raise Revenue without Having Taxes?
Case: Repeal the #@! Income Tax in Taxachusetts!
CHAPTER 8. POLITICS AND CAPITAL BUDGETING
What Is Capital Budgeting and Why Is It Important?
Infrastructure as Durable Goods and Capital Assets
Doing Public Mega-Projects
Should Governments Plan and If So, How?
Identifying Capital Projects
Capital Programs and Budgets
Project Costs and Benefits
If Not Pay Cash, Then Why and When Borrow Money?
Debt Is Not Always Bad
Bond Ratings and Credit Quality
State and Local Governments' Securities
Is There Such a Thing as Free Money?
State and Local Officials Look to the Federal Government
Local Officials Look to the States
Case: Budget Busters!
CHAPTER 9. HOW TO READ A LOCAL BUDGET
Eight Focal Points
Operating or Capital Budget?
Legal Status of the Document?
Is the Budget Balanced?
What Fund Applies?
What Are the Budget Drivers?
What Gets the Spotlight?
Proceed with Caution!
Go Beyond the Budget
Questions to Ask When Reading a Budget
Would You Vote for This Budget?
CHAPTER 10. THE BOTTOM LINE
Why Does Budgeting Change and Yet So Much Stays the Same?
Sources of Change
Putting on the Squeeze
Budgetary and Political Time Bombs
How Do Today's Budget Decisions Affect Tomorrow's Democracy?
How Are We Doing?
Transparency and Complexity
Financing Public Higher Education
Following the Money through a Maze
Accountability, Stewardship, and the Artful Dodge
Dodging Tough Choices
Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Performance
Responsiveness and the Role and Size of Government
Where Are We Headed?
Reforming the Appropriations Process
What Can We Do about It?
Trust and the Political Deficit
Participation and a Challenge to Take Two Steps
Case: The Gag Rule
The Big Picture: Integrating Questions
APPENDIX A. THE FEDERAL BUDGET PROCESS
APPENDIX B. GLOSSARY OF TERMS IN BUDGETARY POLITICS