Course Description

470.645 - The Budgetary Process

The federal budget process is an enormously complex mixture of administrative routines and mechanisms designed to bias decisions, avoid blame, or reduce conflict. This course explores the structures of federal budgeting in terms of its varied goals and in the context of the wider governing process. The course will review the budgetary process in both the executive and congressional branching, as well as the interaction of those two systems. In order to gain understanding of the difficult policy choices and political pressures policymakers face, students will be asked to do a simulation of a budget process within the executive branch. The role of entitlements, scoring issues, and tax policy will be examined in the context of the debate over budget policy. The course will start with a short primer on finance theory. (Recommended elective for MA in Public Management. Elective option for Government Analytics students.)