Public Budgeting in America (5th Edition)

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9780130979933: Public Budgeting in America (5th Edition)

The most comprehensive and accurate treatment of the public budgeting process on the market, this book offers a thorough treatment of the entire subject, with an emphasis on state budgets. Public Budgeting in America, 5/E is user-friendly, with a no-nonsense approach that offers readers a solid theoretical treatment of key constructs that underlie public budgeting in America. It includes case scenarios, practical examples, and instructional exhibits of working budget documents and analysis, as well as supporting data to demonstrate key concepts. Topics include: budget formats and preparation; modern budgeting; budget behavior; applied analysis; processing; operating budgets and accounting; capital budgeting and debt administration; revenue systems; and internal service functions. For individuals employed in the fields of public budgeting, financial management, and public finance.

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Authoritative, comprehensive, and practical, this text explores public budgeting and financial management from the public manager's perspective -- offering a balanced blend of theory and nuts-and-bolts "how-to" information.

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This fifth edition makes improvements to previous editions by drawing upon the strength of a collaborative effort. Specifically, this edition adds a co-authoróRobert Smith, who comes to this task with considerable state government budget experience. We believe this edition continues and enhances the blend of practical application, theory, and empirical rigor necessary for understanding public budgeting in the United States. Our collaboration in this edition focuses on balancing the strength of a winning approach with timely additions and updated tables, charts, and graphs. This revised material complements the successful approach of the earlier editions, which explained budgetary practice and process as they developed in the twentieth century. It was our task in this fifth edition to develop an explanation of public budgeting in a twenty-first century context.

Indeed, public budgeting is an evolving endeavor, and the past twenty years have witnessed legislation and practices that have tried to cope with budget crises at the federal, state, and local levels. Unfortunately, many of these efforts have not adequately addressed the complex structural, governance, and process issues fundamental to public budgeting. Our approach was to address recent budget developments and related phenomena with a focus on the problem itself. We are optimistic that the level of academic inquiry and professional expertise in the field of public budgeting is up to the task. However, the real challenge is to bring these energies to bear on the fundamentals of the budgetary process for meaningful long-term reform.

To this end, this text blends the experiences of a former state budget practitioner and the insights of an accomplished budget scholar. Of particular note is the chapter on the use of analysis in the budget process. The result is a text that is reorganized, relevant, and timely for students and teachers of public budgeting. At the same time, it is difficult to separate budgeting from issues of financial management, and so we address both subjects in a manner that stresses the interrelationships between the two. Finally, because there are few texts that focus on the details of budget practice and process, we believe that this book is an essential read for students and practitioners interested in a full understanding of budgeting in America.

We acknowledge our appreciation to everyone who has contributed to this revised edition. We wish to especially thank the Prentice Hall editorial staff including Heather Shelstad, John Ragozzine, and Suzanne Remore. Also, a special thanks goes to Jessica Drew, Jennifer Bryant, and the anonymous reviewers from Prentice Hall who worked on this project. The authors would also like to thank Melissa Scott of Carlisle Publishers Services for her patience, fine editing, and other suggestions to improve this fifth edition. We also gratefully acknowledge the technical and support services provided by Rob Carey, a Ph.D. student and researcher in the Policy Studies program, and Stacey Davenport and Courtenay Ryals of the Department of Political Science at Clemson University.

Finally, this text would not be possible without the unwavering support and commitment of our wives and families. A loving thanks goes to Kathleen C. Gallagher-Smith and Keegan and Nolan Smith. Another loving thanks goes to Cynthia E. Lynch for her tolerance and patience as this edition was prepared.

Robert W. Smith, Ph.D.
Thomas D. Lynch, Ph.D.

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