Avoiding the Crunch: New Ideas for Addressing Budget Deficits

Feb 08, 2008


David S. Gamage
Professor of Law
University of California at Berkeley

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With a projected deficit of roughly $14 billion, some policy leaders are declaring California in a state of "fiscal emergency." Unfortunately, state fiscal crises have become a regular part of the political landscape.  Faced with deficits, policy makers typically scramble together ad hoc reform packages meant only to hold their states over until budgetary conditions improve.  Across-the-board spending cuts are common policy responses. 

Seldom do state political establishments pause to reconsider their overall fiscal systems so as to prevent the underlying problems that caused the current crisis from reemerging in the future. 

In this course, David S. Gamage, Professor of Law at University of California at Berkeley's Boalt Hall, presents his on-going research on how tax structures can respond to fiscal volatility in state budgets. Professor Gamage will focus on the potential for redesigning tax systems and general budgetary processes.

Attendees will leave this course with a better understanding of the following questions:

  • How do tax structures affect revenue collection?
  • How should state tax systems respond to the fiscal instability created by budget constraints?
  • How might modifications to the tax system and budget process prevent future deficits in California?

For more information on this course, please contact Tyson Schritter at tschritt@gmu.edu or by phone at (703) 993-8205.