Dead Men Ruling: How to Restore Fiscal Freedom and Rescue Our Future

Dead Men Ruling: How to Restore Fiscal Freedom and Rescue Our Future

by C. Eugene Steuerle

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780870785399
Publisher: The Century Foundation, Inc.
Publication date: 03/31/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

C. Eugene Steuerle is Richard B. Fisher chair and Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute, and a columnist under the title The Government We Deserve. Among past positions, he has served as deputy assistant secretary of the treasury for tax analysis (1987–89), president of the National Tax Association (2001–02), chair of the 1999 Technical Panel advising Social Security on its methods and assumptions, economic coordinator and original organizer of the 1984 Treasury study that led to the Tax Reform Act of 1986, president of the National Economists Club Educational Foundation, vice-president of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, federal executive fellow at the Brookings Institution, a columnist for the Financial Times, co-founder of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the Urban Institute Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, and Act for Alexandria, a community foundation.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction: The Challenge at Hand 1

2 At a Fiscal Turning Point 19

3 From Whence It Came 33

4 Postwar Fiscal Policy: The Gradual Demise of Fiscal Democracy 47

5 From Controlling the Present to Controlling the Future 70

6 The Four Deadly Economic Consequences 81

7 The Three Deadly Political Consequences 104

8 The Counter-Revolution 117

9 Envisioning a Better Future 131

10 Restoring Fiscal Freedom: Another Shot at Greatness 148

Appendix 161

Notes 163

Index 183

About the Author 197

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Dead Men Ruling: How to Restore Fiscal Freedom and Rescue Our Future 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
JamesAlm More than 1 year ago
Gene Steuerle is the most astute observer of economic policy working in Washington, as demonstrated by the many books and articles that he has written over the years and the impact that his writing has had. Now, he is able to bring his unparalleled experience to bear in order to enlighten our current dilemmas. In this provocative book, Steuerle argues that the United States – and the federal government – is far from lacking in resources. Rather, the basic problem is that the spending and taxing programs that were put in place many years ago have committed – more accurately, have overcommitted – the government to spending far more than the government can expect to generate in revenues. In effect, our current policies are being imposed upon us by past policies, and so we do not have the discretion needed to respond wisely to our current challenges; that is, we are still being “ruled” by the “dead men” who enacted these past policies. The solution is obvious if hard: restore discretion to current economic policy making. This book is required reading for anyone wanting to understand current policy debates and, especially, for anyone wanting to improve policy making in Washington.
Budgetguy More than 1 year ago
This is a must read for anyone interested in the fiscal future of  our country: beautifully written and illuminated with insightful graphics. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a book which everyone should read. In a publishing world full of books in which liberals and conservatives sling mud at each other and blame each other for all the current fiscal problems, Steuerle stands above the rest by refusing to take sides. Instead, he clearly lays out how we ended up in the current fiscal crisis and more importantly, what can be done about it "In 2009, every dollar of U.S. revenue was committed before the new Congress walked through capital doors." This is a powerful line. How can we expect a new Congress to improve on the old one if every new year, the budget has already overspent before they have time to do anything? However, despite the severe problems, Steuerle adopts an optimistic attitude. He proposes a more flexible budget that focuses on promoting opportunity and investing in the youngest Americans. History buffs will love the chapter describing past fiscal turnings, the evolution of American attitudes towards debt, and how we ended up where we are today. Policy buffs will love the chapter on why it is so hard to enact positive change in the current political environment. Everyone should read the chapter on how to tame our budgetary problems and restore fiscal freedom. After reading Steuerle's book, it is impossible not to feel a surge of optimism. At least the light at the end of the tunnel exists; we only have to find it.