From School Library Journal
At the risk of inundating readers with sheer numbers, pie charts, and assorted graphics, A People's Guide takes a singularly dry topic and admirably makes it accessible to the masses. A solid review of "Where Does the Money Come From?" and "Where Does the Money Go?" lays the groundwork for an analysis of the Federal Debt and Obama's 2013 Budget Request. The specific aim for this text is to help readers understand Obama's 2013 proposed budget, a call to action if you will, with an aim to nonpartisan presentation. The text is carefully laid out in a highly digestible and sequential format. It includes simple, layperson's concepts such as our Social Security wage tax holiday, down to 4.2 percent until the end of 2012, upon which the elucidation of more complex tax topics can be built. A more complex graphic is a bar graph with a 70-year review of "Revenues, Outlays, Deficits and Surpluses" - and current deficits versus outlays aren't looking good! In the "Take Action" chapter, a proactive chart provides a month-by-month layout of "Opportunities to Take Action" leading up to October 1, the new fiscal year. Readers would be well served by having a solid grasp of basic government fiscal machinations prior to reading this guide. With clearly presented concepts, consistently referring back to prior explanatory text, there is a wealth of data packed into every page. Grades 10 and up. -Meredith Toumayan, Topsfield Town Library, MA
"This year the president, the entire House of Representatives, and one-third of the Senate are up for re-election.... The officials we elect in November will have the opportunity to reshape our country for years to come. If we're to have any hope of navigating the federal budget process and understanding the complex decisions our elected officials will make in future years, we need this book. A People's Guide to the Federal Budget
is our way in."-from the foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich, best-selling author of Nickel and Dimed
"Many Americans express dissatisfaction or worse over what's happening in Washington today... they can't understand much of what's going on, especially when it comes to where our tax dollars go. This book is a bridge for Americans from dissatisfaction and confusion to knowledge and action.... Congresswoman Barbara Jordan said: 'If you're going to play the game properly you'd better know every rule.' That's what makes A People's Guide
essential. We've got to understand what's going on in Washington so that we can work together and change the rules, so that our elections are not auctions.... All Americans who hope to make their voices heard in Washington must understand that we must take on the issue of money in politics, and play to win." -from the afterword by Josh Silver, CEO of United Republic
"Nothing will change in Washington unless the American people demand it. A People's Guide to the Federal Budget
empowers Americans by explaining the inside-Washington game and offering tools to hold lawmakers accountable." -Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration and best-selling author of Aftershock and The Work of Nations
“Given the fateful budget choices we now face as a country, A People's Guide to the Federal Budget crucially helps all citizens understand the process by which those choices will be made and how we can all engage to ensure the best possible outcome.”
-Anthony W. Marx, President, New York Public Library
"Young adults are underrepresented at the polls. That would begin to change if high school curricula provided a strong grounding in the federal budget-- so that young people have the tools to base their judgments on evidence. A People's Guide to the Federal Budget is an invaluable resource."
- Dr. Anand Marri, Teachers College, Columbia University
"Kramer (senior research analyst, National Priorities Project) here provides an understandable explanation of federal spending and revenues. The text explains why readers should care about the federal budget and how it affects them…. This book is worthwhile reading for all U.S. citizens."
“This guide seeks to inform general readers and high school and college students about the federal budget to make them more active citizens. It explains the budget's terminology and language, its history, its decision makers, where the money comes from and how it is allocated, the federal debt, and how to take action.”
“This primer on the complicated federal budget process is offered in readily understandable language for all readers…. The book clearly addresses such issues as discretionary spending … and the federal debt. In the foreword, Ehrenreich reflects on the challenges people face in trying to make ends meet.... This is a valuable resource.”-Booklist