Is the U.S. Congress an Insurmountable Obstacle to Any ‘Far‐Sighted Conception of Budgeting’?

In recent years, Congress has recurrently failed to meet its minimum responsibilities in federal budgeting. This article analyzes whether it is possible to repair this problem, using concepts popularized by Allen Schick in his influential article “The Road to PPB.” His article compared the PPB reform effort to the history of budget process reforms that started with the design of the executive budget. It publicized a logical sequence of budget process improvements that started with control and then advanced through management and planning. The article did not substantially address the role of Congress, but eight years after it was published, Congress reasserted its constitutional role in the budget process. Its record of performance since then has ranged from mixed to dysfunctional. The Congress has been criticized for budgetary delays, micromanagement, myopia, procrastination, indiscipline, and an inability to prioritize intelligently. If these faults are set in stone, then an integrated system of budgeting, as described in “The Road to PPB” and related work, is unattainable. On the other hand, if reform of Congressional budgeting is politically feasible, improvements to that system can utilize the unique contributions that a legislature can make to a good system of budgeting.

via Is the U.S. Congress an Insurmountable Obstacle to Any ‘Far‐Sighted Conception of Budgeting’? by Roy Meyers :: SSRN

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