October 6, 2011

Changing the Budget Process to Promote Fiscal Responsibility

Key materials
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Many point to the past months’ rancorous debates and subsequent credit downgrade as an indication the federal budget process is “broken.” But if its principle aim is to control spending, has it ever really worked?

The discussion focuses on the following questions:

  • What are the key weaknesses of the current federal budget process? 
  • How and why have most past process reforms failed, and how should new budget rules be designed and enforced to ensure effectiveness? 
  • What reforms could be immediately enacted to direct real near-term spending reform? 
  • What is necessary to ensure medium and long-term spending reforms actually materialize?