From Library Journal
Makin, the director of fiscal policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and Ornstein, a resident scholar at the institute, trace the conduct of fiscal policy from the debates of Hamilton and Jefferson to the Clinton administration. The quality of their narrative is rich, and problems with debt and taxes are placed in the context of politics, philosophy, and ideology. The work will appeal both to those who are interested in the history of fiscal policy and to individuals concerned with current budget issues. The authors, more hopeful than despairing, take a lot of space describing the origins of the current debt crisis; they offer constructive, sensible methods that, taken together, could dramatically improve, if not cure the budget crisis. Well written and argued in an evenhanded fashion, this book is required reading for people who think seriously about fiscal policy and the current budgetary crisis. A good choice for public libraries.
- Geofrey T. Mills, Univ. of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Makin is director of fiscal policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a public policy think tank, and Ornstein is its oft-quoted resident scholar. The two provide a readable, informed historical analysis--colored by AEI's neoconservative philosophy--of U.S. fiscal policy, budget making, and tax levying. They trace fiscal debate back to the Hamiltonian-Jeffersonian dialogues of this nation's infancy and show how arguments about debt and taxes are usually arguments about the direction and the priorities of government and society. The authors also note that several factors make today's debates different. Unlike in the past, modern budget deficits have not been generated by short-term war debts, and entitlement programs now account for half of the federal budget. David Rouse