A comprehensive, clear, and valuable account of the exceedingly complex history of federal budgeting. Ippolito succeeds admirably. --Louis Fisher, Congressional Research Service
Dennis Ippolito offers the reader an invaluable historical review of American budgeting from the founding of the Republic through the contemporary period. As of now, there is no other publication of this breadth. --James D. Savage, University of Virginia
From the Inside Flap
The history of budget policy provides a unique perspective on political change in the United States and helps explain how and why the federal government has grown over time. Dennis Ippolito reviews the different stages of this development-from the era of small government prior to the Civil War through the dramatic transformations of the New Deal and Cold War up to the current challenges of modernizing the welfare state-and shows how each of these stages reflected a dominant vision of the size and role of the federal government, incorporating particular spending, tax, and borrowing philosophies and policies.
Why Budgets Matter offers new insights into the enduring debate over "limited government" versus "big government" in the United States and will be a valuable resource for students, scholars, and policymakers seeking a better understanding of the background to the fiscal problems we face today.