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Book details
  • SubGenre:Government / National
  • Language:English
  • Pages:318
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781543979886
  • Paperback ISBN:9781543979879

Enlightened Public Finance

Fiscal Literacy for Democrats, Independents, Millennials and Collegians

by Girard Miller View author's profile page

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This book helps readers understand the world of public finance well enough to make wiser political decisions. Political candidates, their campaign staffs and their supporters are encouraged to learn from it. Journalists, unaffiliated voters and students can become fiscally literate by using this text as a handy and informative reference guide. Unlike a college textbook, it is written for Democrats and Independents, by an Independent Democrat who once served on the Governmental Accounting Standards Board and worked for decades in the financial and investment industries as a qualified financial expert. As the Democratic campaign shapes for for the 2020 election, candidates and supporters will be debating key issues of health care reform, tax policy, infrastructure replacement and funding strategies, budget deficits and the national debt. To avoid being branded as socialists, Democrats must devise a platform and campaign themes that ordinary Americans can understand and trust. This book explains what is and is not possible in the world of public finance, taxation, education finance, and health care policy. Social Security and Medicare tax increases and benefits changes are inevitable and must be addressed. Tax policies to reverse the Trump tax cuts for the rich are presented logically, with insights to the opportunities and also the limits to taxing One Percenters, Wall Street and the super-rich.
This timely and unprecedented book will inform politically active readers throughout the 2020 national election cycle. It provides financial information on major campaign issues such as national health care policy, college tuition relief, and tax reforms that would be required to pay for "big changes" as well as the unspoken issue of mounting federal deficits. It explains why Modern Monetary Theory is not a solution. As a bonus, it includes important and innovative policy strategies to contain medical and prescription-drug costs, and ways to cut municipal borrowing costs without burdening taxpayers. The book begins with an introduction to the Fiscal Facts of Life, which include the financial burdens facing Baby Boomers whose Medicare and Social Security benefits are in jeopardy as the programs' trust funds are depleted in 2026 and 2034 respectively, The author explains in household terms the size of the national debt and the annual budget deficits that Trump Tax Cuts have left to us all. Politicians in both political parties continue to sidestep the massive national debt that today's politicians are handing off to Millennials, college students and younger Americans. After explaining and quantifying the real-world magnitude of popular political slogans like "Medicare for All" and "Free College Tuition" and "Tax the Rich," the book identifies a dozen tax reform and tax increase policy options and the realistic amount of revenue each would raise. The idea of universal health care becomes a cruel joke if Medicare benefits for today's retirees must be paid with federal IOUs in 2027 and forever thereafter The mis-match between many populist politicians' promises for big new ideas, and the actual tax burdens that will be required to fund them, is addressed from the perspective of Democrats eager to regain the White House in 2020. The book includes comprehensive public finance strategies to achieve important social changes without further burdening younger Americans with even more national debt and the risk of future inflation. The book is not anti-tax, it is anti-runaway-deficits. Middle Americans may not have all the answers, but they know there is a debt problem and it makes them suspicious of runaway Tax-and-Spend policies. Failure to address these issues in primaries and the Milwaukee convention could result in a replay of Nixon v. McGovern. The author presents novel solutions for health care financing, and a comprehensive budget-balancing strategy to fund Basic Health Care for All and collegiate tuition relief, if Americans are willing to accept the taxes required to properly finance a grown-up approach to federal budgeting. Innovative strategies to help states and local government finance their crumbling infrastructure are also presented, along with smarter federal policies to get more bang for the buck and put people back to work faster in recessions. Students of public administration and public policy will find this book illuminating, with real-word examples of textbook concepts that will bring their studies to life in the 2020 election cycle. Reporters and campaigners will be able to use the book's Pinocchio Fact-checking and Smell-testing Scorecard to call out phony campaign promises. Families and friends will be able to use the book's comprehensive analysis of both the spending options and the tax-financing options to settle policy debates. The book begins with a brief "Cliff Notes" introduction that summarizes the key principles and highlights, with references to the 29 technical topics contained in the main body of the book. There are 100 "call-out" text boxes that summarize key points and pull the reader into important sections. An annotated Glossary of common governmental finance acronyms is provided.
About the author
A nationally recognized expert in finance and investments, Girard Miller's career has spanned 30 years in the governmental, corporate and nonprofit sectors. He was previously the president of two national mutual funds and a senior strategist in the field of public financial management. Miller previously served on the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. He is an honorary life member of the Government Finance Officers Association. Now retired, he resides in Southern California Girard Miller has previously authored authoritative texts in the field of public finance, including An Elected Official's Guide to Government Finance (2008) and Investing Public Funds (1998).

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