Putting Trust in the US Budget: Federal Trust Funds and the Politics of Commitment
In the United States many important programs are paid from trust funds. At a time when major social insurance funds are facing insolvency, this book provided the first comprehensive study of this significant yet little-studied feature of the American welfare state. Equally importantly, the author investigates an enduring issue in democratic politics: can current officeholders bind their successors? By law, trust funds, which get most of their money from earmarked taxes, are restricted for specific uses. Patashnik asks why these structures were created, and how they have affected political dynamics. He argues that officeholders have used trust funds primarily to reduce political uncertainty, and bind distant futures. Based on detailed case studies of trust funds in a number of policy sectors, he shows how political commitment is a developmental process, whereby precommitments shape the content of future political conflicts. This book will be of interest to students of public policy, political economy and American political development.
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Introduction trust funds and the politics of commitment
Political transaction costs feedback effects and policy credibility
Trust fund taxes vs general fund taxes
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96th Congress Aaron Wildavsky actuarial Administration Airport and Airway argued Aviation Trust Fund beneficiaries benefits bill billion Brookings Institution budget guardians budgetary cleanups commitment Committee Congress Congressional Budget Office Congressional Quarterly Congressional Quarterly Almanac Congressional Quarterly Weekly Congressional Record deficit Democratic divided government earmarked taxes economic enacted environmental excise tax federal budget federal trust funds fiscal fund excise taxes fund's future gas tax Government Printing Office gridlock interval Highway Trust Fund income increase interest lawmakers legislative major Medicare Medicare's officeholders payroll tax percent policymakers political transaction costs politicians precommitment promises proposal Quarterly Weekly Report Reagan reduce reform Republican Robert sector Security finance Security Trust Fund Senate social insurance Social Security Trust Social Security's Superfund surpluses tax revenues transaction costs transition Treasury trust fund device trust fund financing trust fund spending trust fund structure trust fund taxes University Press variable Washington Wilbur Mills windfall profits tax
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