This comprehensive book describes and analyzes the substance and politics of public budgeting at the national, state, and local levels of government. In doing so, it takes a comparative approach, illustrating the distinctiveness of budgeting at each level, as well as highlighting the features common to all three. A unifying focus is the extent to which budgetary decision makers use the budget as a central vehicle to advance their policy preferences. This fully updated sixth edition provides an extensive and thorough analysis of the causes of the Great Recession, its economic consequences, and the policy responses which pushed the boundaries of conventional monetary and fiscal policy. Also new to this edition is a chapter on the intergovernmental dimensions of public budgeting, along with boxed features highlighting hands-on vignettes of contemporary practical challenges facing budget makers at the different levels of government.
"Budgets are the ‘scorecards’ of the political process, and the budget game has become more important over the nearly 25 years since the first edition of this landmark book. This new edition of Budgetary Politics in American Governments is a home run, written in a way that will keep first-time scorekeepers interested and on top of their games. Gosling manages to convey the problems and the promise of focusing on the budget–and demonstrates the ways in which the budget process can bring some sense of order back to American politics." –Michael C. Munger, Duke University
"In this 6th edition, James J. Gosling has written a book that not only describes the "how" of pubic budgeting and fiscal management, but explains the "why" of budget decisions and preferences given the political environment. Fully updated to include Barack Obama's interpretation of intergovernmental relations in the realm of public budgeting, students will find Gosling's writing clear and examples illustrative of the dance that takes place between politicians–at all levels of governance–and their budgeting priorities and decisions. Students who desire a clear understanding of the nexus of politics and public budgeting should read this book." –Kelly Shaw, Iowa State University
List of Figures, Boxes, and Tables Preface 1. Public Budgeting in Perspective 2. Budgetary Decision Making 3. Budget Organization and Structure 4. Economics and Politics 5. Taxing and Spending 6. National Budgeting 7. Budgeting in the States 8. Budgeting in Local Units of Government 9. Fiscal Federalism and Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations 10. Budget Execution and Financial Management