HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy

Abstract

America’s dysfunctional budget process has been mired in federal shutdowns and debt ceiling brinksmanship for the past several years. No wonder citizens’ confidence in government is at its lowest in four decades. Conventional wisdom in Washington is that hyper-partisanship has infected appropriations along with everything else, and that barring a dramatic shift in political tone, the best we can do is to pass one-off deals such as the recent Ryan-Murray bill. But there are a series of structural reforms that could substantially improve the way the US does budgeting, and which could be enacted by a bipartisan majority dedicated to good government.

Citation

Bilmes, Linda J. "Reforming the Budget: Four Steps to Restore Fiscal Discipline." Brookings, February 5, 2014.