Ten years ago in Governance: Eric Patashnik on the “fiscalization of policy debate”
In the April 1999 issue of Governance, Eric Patashnik — now Associate Director of the University of Virginia’s Public Policy Program — wrote on a subject that is timely once again: the political and institutional challenges of budget control. “The policy debate in the United States has been ‘fiscalized,” Patashnik wrote in 1999, “Programs are routinely debated not in terms of their substantive merits but rather of their budgetary impact.” Concern about budget discipline receded at the end of the 1990s, as the US government went briefly into surplus. But the fiscal effects of the financial crisis, recession, and demographic change give Patashnik’s article renewed relevance. Get the full article — Ideas, Inheritances, and the Dynamics of Budgetary Change (12.2, pages 147-174) — from the Governance archives.