In this timely, important work, leading economist Calleo presents a lucid, cogent examination of America's fiscal decline and what can be done about it. By placing the fiscal breakdown in a historical context, Calleo illustrates how it has affected America and puts forth the changes that must be made in our national thinking if we are to remain sound.
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An exacting audit by Calleo (European Studies/Johns Hopkins) of the federal government's mismanagement of financial affairs, and of the resultant risks. Drawing on Washington's own data, Calleo explores how and why budget deficits have grown to levels that make them engines of national decline. He sheds light on a wealth of ad rem subjects- -e.g., changes in spending priorities over the 1950-90 period; exploitation of the dollar's international stature (i.e., borrowing abroad to avoid domestic adjustments); manipulative monetary policies (which relied on inflation to underwrite fiscal shortfalls); and the grave implications of current fiscal trends in the context of likely demographic, geopolitical, and socioeconomic developments. The author also puts the country's income/outgo situation in perspective by comparing its not altogether analogous expenditure patterns after WW II with those of France and Germany. Calleo concludes that inefficiency and waste rather than excessively self-indulgent consumption are root causes of US problems, and he decries unregulated markets that, in his view, have proved wholly inadequate substitutes for a stable currency and allied common goods. While unpersuaded that a peace dividend will make any real contribution to genuine prosperity, Calleo remains sanguine on the prospects for US renewal. His remedial prescriptions, however, are appreciably less specific than his detailed diagnosis. If nothing else, though, Calleo's principled plea for a more rational balance between the power to govern and the capacity of special-interest groups to obstruct merits consideration, as does his unabashed appeal that the electorate and its leaders embrace the generous, visionary ideals that long made America a tower of economic strength and a beacon of hope. A challenging, fully documented tract addressing the overleveraged and frequently dysfunctional state of the union. The text brims with helpful tabular material. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
Rather than emphasizing the nuts and bolts of federal budget deficits, Calleo sees these deficits as a metaphor of our deficient political and economic philosophies. When he discusses government taxing and spending, the author's simple facts often overturn widely held misperceptions. He argues convincingly that what is needed most is a new public philosophy of what government can and should do. Using only basic economic reasoning, Calleo's well-written text is easily accessible to all readers. Highly recommended as an uncommon treatment of a common topic.
- Richard C. Schiming, Mankato State Univ., Minn.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Morrow/Avon, New York, NY, U.S.A., 1993. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: New. First Edition. New York: Morrow, 1993. First edition. 8vo. Trade paperback, 301 pp. The budget deficit and a reconsideration of the U.S.'s geopolitical role. New. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000832