A History (and Future) of the Budget Process in the United States

Budget by Fire

  • Paul Winfree

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Paul Winfree
    Pages 1-18
  3. Paul Winfree
    Pages 19-49
  4. Paul Winfree
    Pages 51-76
  5. Paul Winfree
    Pages 77-108
  6. Paul Winfree
    Pages 109-139
  7. Paul Winfree
    Pages 141-168
  8. Paul Winfree
    Pages 169-204
  9. Paul Winfree
    Pages 205-215
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 217-230

About this book


The United States has one of the most unique budgeting processes of any modern government. The “powers of the purse” are enumerated under the Constitution, but they were hotly debated by the nation’s founding fathers. However, the lack of a legal guide for exactly how to delegate the powers, and under what conditions, has led to a process marked by power struggles—primarily between Congress and the presidency—over the last 230 years. Still, the budget and appropriations process is central to the functioning of the federal government.

This book covers the transformation of American government through the lens of shifting budgeting power, while documenting the evolution of economic policy through the federal budget. As the nation and the federal government have expanded, the budget process has entirely broken down. This book also recommends changes that would help the budget process function more effectively. The chapters are organized both chronologically and topically to help the reader think through the evolution of the budget process. With its comprehensive approach to the history of the budget process—covering the entirety of US federal existence—this book will be a go-to resource for academics and public policy professionals interested in Congressional and executive history.


budget process of the united states budget process public debt Congress appropriations Committee of Ways and Means Jefferson Administration THE ANTI-DEFICIENCY ACT US economic history Taft Commission General Accounting Act GAA Treasury Department Office of Management and Budget General Accounting Office GAO The Great Depression Donald Trump

Authors and affiliations

  • Paul Winfree
    • 1
  1. 1.Heritage FoundationWashington, DCUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Economics and Finance
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-30958-9
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-30959-6
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Materials & Steel
Finance, Business & Banking