The Roots of the Public Sector Fiscal Crisis [PDF]
A paper by Max Sawicky of the labor-funded Economic Policy Institute.
A Program for Economic Policy Watchers
Then-Harvard economist Brad DeLong tells what to watch for in economic policy in Clinton’s first term.
Where Does the Deficit Come From?
A Lloyd Bentson Wall Street Journal op-ed drafted by Brad DeLong outlines the causes.
Clinton Policy Accomplishments
An assessment by Brad DeLong.
The Market, the State and the Dynamics of Public Culture
Kevin Phillips outlines and updates his cyclical economic thesis from his 1990 book Politics of Rich and Poor.
Reaganomics: What Worked? What Didn’t?
Former Reagan Deputy OMB Director Lawrence Kudlow attributes the 1980s deficits to the reduction of inflation:
Moreover, I believe the single largest cause of the deficit was the sharp reduction of inflation, from a zone of 12-15% in 1980 and 1981, to a zone of 2-3% in 1986. The government had been living on inflated revenues and inflated personal income revenues for over a decade, from LBJ through Nixon and Ford, to Jimmy Carter. The government’s appetite for inflated revenues was virtually insatiable, and it supported, nourished, and ultimately overfed the rise of the entitlement state. Reagan inherited that.1998
Rising inflation was a huge effective tax increase on the economy on top of the already high actual tax rates. So, getting inflation down was a huge tax cut, though it probably resulted in a loss of nominal GDP income of, I would say, by 1986, close to a trillion dollars from what might have been the case if the inflation had continued at a 10-12% annual rate. If the choice is to finance a deficit in order to lower inflation and improve the economy, or to oppose a deficit and maintain the inflation that was destroying our economy, I would take the former any time. I believe Reagan made a brilliant economic and political decision to give Volker the green light to do what he had to do.
The End of Federal Deficits
Brad DeLong outlines the events leading to the end of deficits.
Meeting Challenges and Building for the Future
Eugene V. Kroch on business cycles and public finance.
Economic Growth Through Tax Cuts
William Gale of Brookings surveys challenges in a potential tax-cutting environment.
Clintonomics: A Report Card [PDF]
Economist Timothy Taylor reviews and critiques the Clinton administration’s economic policy choices.
Formation of Fiscal Policy:The Experience of the Past Twenty-Five Years [PDF]
Economist Alan J. Auerbach writing in the FRBNY Economic Policy Review.
How Much Credit Does Clinton Deserve for the Economy?
Brad DeLong’s take.
The Federal Budget and Interest Rates
Analysis by Richard J. Keating of the Small Business Survival Committee.
Wile E. Coyote Explains Bush Administration Fiscal Policy
Brad DeLong examines whether deficits constrain spending, looking at the 1980-2000 time period.