Balancing the federal budget: eating the seed corn or trimming the herds?
In this timely new book, one of America's most respected public administration analysts focuses her attention on how government tried and eventually succeeded in balancing the US federal budget in 1998. With characteristic insight and a lively narrative, Rubin describes the successive efforts of Congress and the administration over seventeen years to shape a process that would encourage balance and the reactions of federal agencies to the pressure. The story of the damage done to agencies as they dealt with reductions and how long it took to recover is told here for the first time. This book asks and answers such crucial questions such as: Did Washington prioritize wisely, trimming back programs in a rational and efficient manner, or did it cut what was easy to cut or what was politically attractive to the party in power? The true drama of politics on Capitol Hill is rendered more vividly by Rubin's own experience working in Washington, D.C., and her personal interviews with the players involved.Most important, the story that Rubin tells in this book is ongoing, as the Bush administration and Republicans face the consequences of their huge tax cuts while funding the war on terrorism and seeking to restore confidence in a shaken economy.
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What Happened and What Was Learned
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Accounting Office agency agency's Agriculture Andrew Cuomo appropriations argued balance the budget balanced budget Balanced Budget Amendment Boskin Commission budget cuts Budget Office budget process Census Census Bureau changes Clinton Commerce Department Committee Congress congressional Congressional Budget Office continued contracting costs credit reform cutback deficit reduction director discretionary downsizing dynamic scoring earmarked economic efforts eliminate employees estimates evaluation federal field offices fiscal Forest Service functions Gramm-Rudman-Hollings House HUD's Ibid improve increased institutional memory interview by author issues learning legislation loan major ment million mission NOAA OPM's oversight PAYGO percent personnel political pressure problems projects proposals Reagan administration reduced staffing reinvention reorganization Republicans request response result revenue Richard Darman RIFs savings Secretary Senate spending staff staffing levels staffing reductions strategy subcommittee targets tion USDA