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Oxford University Press Inc
12 October 2017
Economic forecasting; Financial crises & disasters; Public finance
Keeping the economy strong will require addressing two distinct but related problems. Steadily rising federal debt makes it harder to grow our economy, boost our living standards, respond to wars or recessions, address social needs, and maintain our role as a global leader. At the same time, we have let critical investments lag and left many people behind even as overall prosperity has grown. In Fiscal Therapy, William Gale, a leading authority on how federal tax and budget policy affects the economy, provides a trenchant discussion of the challenges posed by the imbalances between spending and revenue. America is facing a gradual decline as debt accumulates and delay raises the costs of action. But there is hope: fiscal responsibility aligns with both conservative and liberal goals and citizens of all stripes can support the notion of making life better for our children and grandchildren.

Gale provides a plan to make the economy and nation stronger, one that controls entitlement spending but preserves and enhances their anti-poverty and social insurance roles, increases public investments on human and physical capital, and raises and reforms taxes to pay for government services in a fair and efficient way. What is needed, he argues, is to balance today's needs against tomorrow's obligations.

We face significant fiscal challenges but, if we are wise enough to seize our opportunities, we can strengthen our economy, increase opportunity, reduce inequality, and build better lives for our children and grandchildren. We do not have to kill popular programs or starve government. Indeed, one main goal of fiscal reform is to maintain the vital functions that government provides. We need to act responsibly, pay for the government we want, and shape that government in ways that serve us best.
By:   William G. Gale (Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy Director Retirement Security Project and Co-Director Urban Institute-Brookings Tax Policy Center Brookings Institution)
Imprint:   Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 242mm,  Width: 164mm,  Spine: 24mm
Weight:   654g
ISBN:   9780190645410
ISBN 10:   0190645415
Pages:   328
Publication Date:   12 October 2017
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Introduction 1. Government at a Glance 2. How We Got Here, Why It Matters 3. The Challenge 4. Termites and Wolves 5. Solving the Debt Problem Fairly 6. The Politics of Deficits, the Deficits of Politics 7. Reforming Health Care 8. Saving Social Security 9. Investing in People 10. Investing for Growth and Security 11. Taxing People 12. Taxing Business 13. Taxing Consumption 14. Improving the Environmental Outlook Epilogue Index

William G. Gale is the Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution and co-director of the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of Brookings and the Urban Institute. In 1991-92, he served as senior economist for the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President George H.W. Bush. He has written columns for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, and CNN and appeared on NBC, CBS, ABC, and NPR.

Reviews for Fiscal Therapy: Balancing Today's Needs with Tomorrow's Obligations

Deficit reduction is certain to return to the center stage of political debate in Washington at some point. Bill Gale is a veteran of past debates and is well equipped to guide the public and policymakers through a jungle filled with traps involving taxes, health policy, retirement programs, national defense and many others. Those wishing to separate real, long-term solutions from those that promise more than they can deliver will find an objective, nonpartisan map in Fiscal Therapy. -Bruce Bartlett, former economic policy adviser to Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush and author of The Benefit and the Burden: Tax Reform-Why We Need It and What It Will Take. Bill lays out a roadmap to achieve our fiscal health, based on economic facts instead of ideological fictions. The economic challenges we face are not easy but they are doable. It is a must read for anyone who cares about the future of this country - it should be required reading for anyone entering political office. * Diane Swonk, Chief Economist, Grant Thornton LLP * America's debt burden is enormous and growing. Finding sensible and balanced ways to reduce it has been an immense and intractable problem. Bill Gale, one of America's finest economists, has given us a roadmap that problem-solving people of every political coloration could and should embrace. Gale both analyzes where the problems are in both revenues and expenditures and provides solutions that preserve the safety net, maintain and even expand programs essential to growth, and provide the best ways of reforming our tax system, improving fairness and reducing inequality. Fiscal Therapy should be read by every concerned citizen, but especially by the members of Congress who need to act. * Norm Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute * Great nations do not stay strong if their debt gets out of control. Fiscal Therapy is the perfect book for a moment when glaring problems are ignored and toxic partisanship has replaced responsible governing. Fiscal Therapy explains the issues fairly and with great insight and proposes immensely sensible and achievable solutions. Let's hope our political leaders read this book-and you should too. * Maya MacGuineas, President, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget * No one is satisfied with America's fiscal prospect. Much of what is proposed does not stand up to serious analysis. Bill Gale and this important book offers a set of well thought out, humane proposals for our fiscal future. His ideas should be very seriously considered by whoever is the president of the U.S. on January 20th, 2021. * Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus, Harvard University; former Secretary of the Treasury * This remarkably clear and comprehensive book provides a road map for how to address one of the biggest policy challenges of our time: getting deficits under control without sacrificing our values. Gale proves that fiscal responsibility and expanding economic opportunity need not be mutually exclusive. * Catherine Rampell, Washington Post opinion columnist and CNN political and economic commentator * Everyone interested in understanding the most important issue affecting Americas economic future should read Bill Gales Fiscal Therapy. Whether or not you agree with his proposals, the book is full of thoughtful and insightful discussion of our fiscal, economic, and social challenges. * Michael J. Boskin, former Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers; Professor of Economics and Hoover Institution Senior Fellow, Stanford University * If you think America cant control its exploding national debt while enhancing shared prosperity, read this book. When politicians are ready to stop fighting and start developing pragmatic policies, Gale has given them a great menu. * Al ice M. Rivlin, former Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office * Fiscal reform is essential to generate strong growth and widespread economic well-being. Bill Gale, one of the countrys most respected and thoughtful experts on fiscal matters, provides an excellent and highly readable primer on the challenges we face. * Robert E. Rubin, former Secretary of the Treasury * Bill Gale's tour de force draws on his decades of research and engagement with public policy to prescribe the fiscal therapy America needs so badly. Gale offers compelling solutions that draw on a wide range of economic research but never lose sight of the ultimate goal of building an economy that is stronger, more resilient, and more fair. * Jason Furman, former Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers; Professor of Practice, Harvard Kennedy School * Bill Gale, one of DC's most respected minds on public policy, takes on one of its biggest challenges putting our fiscal house in order. Our nations leaders would benefit from reading his analysis and ideas. * Mark R. Warner, United States Senator for the Commonwealth of Virginia * Bill Gale provides a thoughtful and balanced assessment of America's fiscal challenges and what we can do about them. * Ben Bernanke, former Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; President, American Economic Association *

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