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Federal Budget Policy (January 2017)

Class Seven-- Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Today we will take up examples of budgetary emergencies. The first is the problem of government shut-downs, a topic explore in Briefing Paper No. 10. Our second topic is the debt ceiling. Here start your readings with Michael W. McConnell, The Origins of the Fiscal Constitution & Howell E. Jackson, The 2011 Debt Ceiling Crisis Revisited, from Is U.S. Government Debt Different (2012). You should also read over pages 18-62 of Jeremy Kreisberg & Kelley O'Mara, The 2011 Debt Limit Impasse: Treasury's Actions & The Counterfactual - What Might have Happened if the National Debt Hit the Satutory Limit (September 4, 2012) (Briefing Paper No. 41). Team Assignment (Teams CG): Please prepare a short presentation assessing whether the next Secretary of the Treasury should invest effort in a contingency plan to prioritize federal expenditures in a more rational manner should another debt ceiling crisis occur during the next presidential administration. Assuming the Department were to develop such a contingency plan, what system of prioritization should plan follow? As background material, I have attached a set of readings related to DC funding litigation and also a briefing paper on the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990.