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The Politics of Public Budgeting

The Politics of Public Budgeting
Getting and Spending, Borrowing and Balancing

Ninth Edition

Other Titles in:
Public Budgeting

February 2019 | 408 pages | CQ Press
Using a “power struggles” theme to examine the dynamics of budgeting, The Politics of Public Budgeting shines a bright light on the political jockeying between interest groups, parties, officials, policymakers, and the public. Bestselling author Irene S. Rubin explains budgeting changes over time by setting issues like the federal deficit and health care expenditures in political and comparative context. The Ninth Edition offers students recent examples of public budgeting from all levels of government, emphasizing the relationship among them. Analyzing each strand of the decision-making process, Rubin shows the extraordinary coordination involved in passing a budget and achieving accountability.
CHAPTER 1: The Politics of Public Budgets
What is Budgeting?

Governmental Budgeting

Minicase: City Manager Replies to Scathing Budget Critique

Minicase: Missouri Constitutional Amendment Reduces Governor's Powers

Minicase: Young Protesters in Court

Minicase: The Courts and New Jersey Pension Reform

Minicase: The Federal Debt Limit as a Constraint

Minicase: Highly Constrained Budgeting—Colorado's TABOR Amendment

The Meaning of Politics in Public Budgeting

Budgetary Decision-Making

Microbudgeting and Macrobudgeting

Summary and Conclusions

Useful Websites

CHAPTER 2: Revenue Politics
Raising Taxes

Minicase: Supermajorities to Raise Taxes

Minicase: Louisiana—Getting Around the No-Tax-Increase Pledge

Minicase: A Tax Increase in Philadelphia

The Politics of Protection

Minicase: Wisconsin and Unexamined Tax Breaks

Minicase: Illinois and the Role of the Press

Minicase: Tax Breaks for Hedge Fund Managers

Minicase: California and Enterprise Zone Tax Breaks

Minicase: North Carolina and Business Tax Breaks

Minicase: Michigan—Terminating its Film Subsidy

Minicase: New Mexico and Tax Expenditure Reporting

Tax Reform

Minicase: Georgia Tax Reform Left Hanging

Minicase: Michigan Tax Reform or Class Warfare?

Minicase: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Is it a Tax Reform?

Summary and Conclusions

Useful Websites

CHAPTER 3: The Politics of Process
Budget Process and the Characteristics of Public Budgeting

Minicase: Harrisburg—Whose Priorities Dominate?

Designing Process to Achieve Policy and Political Goals

Macro- and Micropolitics

Minicase: Republican Macrolevel Reform Proposals

Minicase: Micropolitics—Bending the Rules to Win Individual Decisions

Minicase: How the Governor's Veto is Used

Variation between and among Federal, State, and Local Governments

Minicase: Maine—The Governor versus the Legislature

Minicase: Limits of Governor's Vetoes in New Mexico

Minicase: San Diego—Fiscal Problems, Strong Mayor, and Veto Powers

Summary and Conclusions

Useful Websites

CHAPTER 4: The Dynamics of Changing Budget Processes

Minicase: New York State—Powerful Governor, Weak Legislature, Informal Budgeting

Minicase: The Governor versus the Courts

Federal Budget Process Changes

Minicase: Deeming Resolutions and Ad Hoc Budgeting

Minicase: Ad Hoc Scoring Rules

Minicase: Overseas Contingency Operations

Minicase: Budget Process Reform 2018?

Changes in Budget Process at the State Level

Minicase: Maryland's Legislative Budget Power

Minicase: South Carolina's Legislatively Dominated Budget Process Begins to Budge

Minicase: The Executive and the Legislature in Florida's Budgeting

Changes in Budget Process at the Local Level

Minicase: Florida and Unfunded Mandates

Summary and Conclusions

Useful Websites

CHAPTER 5: Expenditures: Strategies, Structures, and the Environment

Minicase: A $17,000 Drip Pan

Minicase: Homeland Security—A Program Tied to a Goal of Unlimited Worth

Minicase: Amtrak Train Wreck

Minicase: Congressional Budget Office and Scoring


Minicase: Budgetary Implications of Direct College Loans versus Loan Guarantees

Minicase: An Open-Ended Discretionary Program—Immigration Enforcement

Minicase: Trump, Immigration Enforcement, and the Threat of Grant Denial

Minicase: California and Mandatory Spending on Redevelopment Agencies

Minicase: Fannie and Freddie: Government Bailout, a Loan, or Investment?

Minicase: New Jersey's Fund Diversion from the Unemployment Insurance Fund

The Environment

Strategy, Structure, and Environment Combined: The Medicare Example

Summary and Conclusions

Useful Websites

CHAPTER 6: The Politics of Balancing the Budget
Defining the Balance Constraint

Minicase: Was the Wisconsin Budget Balanced?

Minicase: Balance in the Federal Highway Trust Fund

Minicase: Illinois Funds Sweep

Multiple Actors, Ideologies, and Deficits

The Environment, Unpredictability, and Deficits

Increasing Stress between Payer and Decider

Minicase: Chicago's Parking Meters

Minicase: Iowa's Privatization of Medicaid

The Politics of Deficits: The Federal Level

The Politics of Deficits: States

Minicase: Detroit Bankruptcy

Minicase: Why Did Jefferson County, Alabama, Declare Bankruptcy?

The Politics of Balance in Cities

Minicase: The Politics of Deficits—An Urban Example

Summary and Conclusions

Useful Websites

CHAPTER 7: Budget Execution: The Politics of Adaptation
Tools for Changing the Budget

Minicase: Policy Deferrals in the Department of State

Minicase: Using Holdbacks to Change Legislative Priorities—Maryland

Minicase: Herbert Hoover and Legislative Vetoes

Minicase: The National Weather Service Reprogramming

Summary and Conclusions

Useful Websites

CHAPTER 8: Controlling Waste, Fraud, and Abuse
Minicase: Congressional Oversight and the Zombie Apocalypse

Inspectors General

The Politics of Finding Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

Minicase: Louisiana Inspector General

Minicase: President Obama Fires an IG

Minicase: Who Guards the Guards? Not the Guards Themselves

Minicase: Acting IG for Homeland Security—Too Close to the Department

Minicase: The Massachusetts Inspector General Versus the Governor

Minicase: New York State and Medicaid

Minicase: Baltimore's Departing IG

Auditors General

Summary and Conclusions

Useful Websites

CHAPTER 9: Budgetary Decision-Making and Politics
Real-Time Budgeting

A Comparison of the Decision-Making Streams

Common Themes

Reconceptualizing Reform

Avenues for Research

Summary and Conclusions

Useful Websites

Author Index
Subject Index
About the Author

“The greatest strength [in the text] is the inclusion of politics in the budgeting process, which is a key element that is often overlooked or understated in other budgeting books.”

Joseph Martin, JD, MPA
University of Missouri

“[The Politics of Public Budgeting] discusses the impact of separation of payer and deicer, multiple actors, and openness to the environment.”

Sharon K. Vaughn
Western Kentucky University

Great Text. Thank you!

Mr Andrew J Sturmfels
Political Science Dept, Sonoma State University
March 10, 2022

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