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Federalist No. 30: What Is to Be Done About the Federal Budget?


Paul L. Posner is the director of the public administration program at George Mason University and formerly was president of the American Society for Public Administration. He led the Government Accountability Office's federal budget work for 14 years and consults with federal budget commissions, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and other organizations on budget issues.


Federalist Nos. 12 and 30–36 describe the benefits of a national fiscal system with independent revenues, arguing that a strong national government cannot exist for long without the means to raise revenues on its own. This essay examines the national fiscal policy process during this period of economic crisis and rising national debt. It provides a detailed assessment of needed reforms in the budget system that would meet the tests imposed by an increasingly uncertain global economy.