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The Origins of American Public Finance: Debates over Money, Debt, and Taxes in the Constitutional Era, 1776-1836 (Contributions in Economics & Economic History) [Hardcover]

Donald R. Stabile

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Book Description

June 18, 1998 0313307547 978-0313307546

An examination of an early version of the debate over money, debt, and taxes sheds light on current debates regarding public finance, a balanced budget, and paying off the public debt. Stabile shows that while special interest lobbying during the constitutional convention produced tax loopholes as part of the Constitution, determined leaders were able to get a reluctant population used to paying taxes and were capable of putting together plans of public finance that attained their goals. Such historical evidence challenges the view that political leaders are incapable of passing the unpopular taxes needed to balance the federal government's budget and pay off the public debt.

Taking a political economy approach that describes how political leaders took economic ideas and made them work, this book combines intellectual history with economic history. Previous books on public finance history have focused on economic issues regarding taxes. Exploring the intellectual history of the debates over money, debt, and taxes as the three potential forms of public finance, Stabile provides insight into the constitutional debate alive at the end of the 20th century.

Editorial Reviews


?Donald Stabile has written a compact and readable history of America's national government's public finance from the Declaration of Independence to the end of Andrew Jackson's second term. This is a solid book. I am sure that I will turn to it as I muddle through the growing literature on the intellectual origins policy in the early nineteenth century.?-The Journal of Economic History

Book Description

Provides a careful analysis of the historical antecedents of current conflict over money, debt, and taxes, bringing the modern economic controversy into focus.

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