Saturday, February 12, 2005

a new way to do budgets?

On Monday I heard a WBEZ interview with Peter Hutchinson about his book The PRICE of GOVERNMENT: Getting the Results We Need in an Age of Permanent Fiscal Crisis (written with David Osborne).

Hutchinson observed the amount of money people are willing to pay, as a percent of the economy, is pretty much fixed. He has done research to show this is true on both the federal level and for individual states.

The thesis is that government budgets should be a priority list of what the electorate wants, as opposed to carrying through the budget from the last cycle with cuts and additions.

Early in the interview I was skeptical, but then Hutchinson provided some examples of actually doing it. It sounded promising.

Discuss the ideas in the book, but also think about the questions: What should Illinois' priority list include? What should be the highest priorities?


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