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By Eric M. Patashnik

Within the usa many vital courses, reminiscent of Social safety and Medicare, are paid from belief cash. At a time while significant social assurance money are dealing with insolvency, this well timed e-book offers the 1st finished learn of this crucial but little-studied function of the yank welfare nation. belief cash are on the middle folks budgeting and public social provision, and likewise bring up a basic query of democratic politics: can present officeholders bind their successors? via designated case reviews Patashnik exhibits how long-term govt commitments are successfully designed.

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Putting Trust in the US Budget: Federal Trust Funds and the Politics of Commitment (Theories of Institutional Design)

Within the usa many vital courses, equivalent to Social protection and Medicare, are paid from belief money. At a time while significant social assurance money are dealing with insolvency, this well timed e-book offers the 1st entire examine of this crucial but little-studied characteristic of the yankee welfare kingdom.

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An examination of the effects of trust fund ®nancing thus requires attention not only to the manifest ways in which the trust fund device shapes political debates over programs, but also to the more hidden ways that trust funds affect administrative routines, policy agendas, and promisee expectations. While of®ceholders inherit a political landscape fundamentally shaped by their predecessors, they are not always powerless to change it. Politicians can and do seek to increase or decrease the future credibility of preexisting trust fund commitments.

First, a number of major trust funds owe their origins as much to ®scal conservatives seeking to safeguard the Treasury as to liberal proponents of big government; second, despite the obvious appeal of trust fund ®nancing to pragmatic politicians, trust funds have not taken over the entire federal budget, indeed they have at times been rejected by Congress to preserve budgetary ¯exibility; and, third, while trust fund architects generally seek to depoliticize programs, many trust funds have been politically contentious and ®nancially unstable.

But diverting revenues to new uses generally requires an explicit change in the enabling statute. '' Indeed, the seemingly technical term ``diversion'' is anything but neutral. It is packed with political symbolism, implying that 44 45 On policy termination, see Eugene Bardach, ``Policy Termination as a Political Process,'' Policy Sciences, 7, 1976, 123±31; see also Herbert Kaufman, Are Government Organizations Immortal? (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 1976); and Bran W. Hogwood and B.

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