Congress and Economic Policy Making

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University of Pittsburgh Pre, Nov 15, 1987 - Political Science - 220 pages
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Economic policymaking has perpetually been one of the central dilemmas facing Congress, leading to huge budget deficits and disagreements among legislators about spending priorities and tax policies.

This book examines congressional decision making on economic policy during the Reagan administration. It looks at legislative actions on Reaganomics, tax reform, and the politics of deficit reduction, and shows the importance of looking not just at the consequences of these decisions but also at the legislative processes that led to them.

Using an “activist-based” approach and previously unexamined data, Darrell West shows that district activists, often more conservative than the public at large, exerted a disproportionate and misleading effect on congressional voting. When this support eventually proved unstable, a more skeptical Congress began to eventually back away from the president's policies. This move had serious consequences for deficit reduction and policy initiation, and also influenced the final shape of the tax reform package adopted in 1986.
 

 

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Congress and economic policymaking

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This is an impressive study of congressional decision making about economic policy (deficit reduction, Gramm-Rudman, tax reform) during the Reagan administration. Students of policy, politicians, and ... Read full review

Contents

and Overview
3
2 The Policy Environment
22
3 Activist Support for Reagonomics
37
4 The Dynamics of Legislative Voting
65
5 Changing The Course
83
6 A Note on Constitutional Reform
107
7 GrammRudman and Deficit Reduction
117
8 The Special Case of Tax Reform
129
9 Conclusion
144
Notes
167
Index
197
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About the author (1987)

Darrell M. West is vice president and director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution.

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