Since the advent of the New Deal, unbalanced budgets have become an almost permanent feature of American government-enlightened economic policy to some, a scourge to others. In Deficit Government, Iwan Morgan makes understandable the main trends of budget policy from the Roosevelt to the Clinton presidencies, and surveys the political and partisan debates surrounding the budget during these years. While focusing on federal expenditure and tax policies, Mr. Morgan explains why budget deficits have become the norm in modern American history, what impact they have had on the economy, and why the size of the deficit has grown so vast in recent years. He evaluates the importance of the budget as an instrument of economic management, including the development of Keynesian fiscal policy and the emergence of conservative doctrines that culminated in the supply-side approaches of the Reagan era. In all, readers who find their eyes glazing over at the thought of reading about budget policy will find Mr. Morgan's refreshing clarity a revelation.
Iwan Morgan, who teaches American history at London Guildhall University, has also written Beyond the Liberal Consensus, America's Century, and Eisenhower versus “The Spenders.”