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Budgets in the United States follow rules of presentation and use terms that make sense to few outside the world of government finance. Moreover, practices vary widely among the thousands of governments in the country, between federal, state, and local levels. Understanding Government Budgets offers detailed explanations of each of the different types of information found in budgets, featuring annotated examples from both state and local budgets, as well as the budget of the federal government. It stresses that the choices made about format and organization influence the story a budget tells about government. The goal of the book is to make the format of budgets and the information they contain accessible and understandable, helping users make better sense of government and its performance. Perfect for undergraduate or graduate level courses in budgeting and public administration, Understanding Government Budgets also makes a useful guide to budgets for the average citizen with an interest in how government operates. R. Mark Musell teaches public finance at the City College of New York, where he also holds the position of Associate Director for External Education at the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Policy. He has taught government budgeting at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and the Metropolitan College of New York. He spent 25 years at the Congressional Budget Office studying the federal budget and providing Members of Congress and their staff with budgetary information and analysis. Professor Musell is the author of studies on government management, public employee compensation, government performance, and federal budgeting.
R. Mark Musell teaches graduate courses in public budgeting and finance at the City College of New York, where he is also Director of Experiential Education for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
The Basics of Government Budgets: Coverage, Status, and Numbers
The Basics of Budget Structure
Public Employment Totals in Budgets
Performance Measures in Budgets
Capital Spending in Budgets
Tax Expenditures and Tax Expenditure Budgets
The Federal Budget: An Example from the National Archives
Small Town U.S.A.: An Example from Avon, Connecticut
Performance in Budgeting: An Example from the State of Texas
Program Information in Budgets: An Example from Wichita, Kansas
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