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The Sixteen-Trillion-Dollar Mistake How the U.S. Bungled Its National Priorities from the New Deal to the Present

by Bruce S. Jansson

  • ISBN: 9780231114325
  • ISBN10: 023111432X

The Sixteen-Trillion-Dollar Mistake How the U.S. Bungled Its National Priorities from the New Deal to the Present

by Bruce S. Jansson

  • List Price: $105.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 03/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780231114325
  • ISBN10: 023111432X
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Description: CHOICES ABOUT NATIONAL priorities are arguably the most important made by the federal government, profoundly affecting the well-being of citizens. Bruce S. Jansson documents how presidents, from FDR to Clinton, have made questionable choices that wasted trillions of dollars. Going beyond charges of corruption or bureaucratic waste, the book is an eye-opening expose that reveals innumerable useless projects (military as well as civilian), unnecessary tax concessions, and the use of interest payments to cover deficit spending, among other costly mistakes. Using U.S. Office of Management and Budget projections through 2004, Jansson shows how the madness continues -- and how an informed electorate can put an end to it.

This book is the first analysis of American national priorities to link social policy, military policy, tax policy, and national politics in a far-reaching critique of the way the United States expends its national resources. By chronicling the failed priorities of eleven presidencies over a seventy-three year period (1931-2004), Jansson meticulously examines how each administration struggled to prioritize its share of the $56 trillion spent over that time. However, presidents only propose budgets, while Congress actually crafts budget and tax legislation. Jansson's research analyzes many of the problems created by this usually contentious relationship between the president and Congress: exorbitant military expenditures, corporate welfare, tax breaks for affluent Americans, interest payments on excessive debt, and pork-barrel spending. In identifying $16 trillion the United States wasted during the past seven decades, The Sixteen -Trillion-Dollar Mistake points the way forgreater citizen surveillance of the federal budget and affords average citizens a stronger voice in determining national priorities.

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