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Presidential Leadership and the Reform of Fiscal Policy: Learning from Reagan's Role in TRA 86

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  • Robert P. Inman

Abstract

The institutions of federal fiscal-policy making seem incapable of confronting the central domestic issues of the day. This paper presents a model of congressional decision-making in which legislators' incentives are contrary to fiscal efficiency. In such an environment, a "strong" president may be able to lead congress away from inefficient budgets. The paper specifies a model of what constitutes a strong president, namely a president with resources to build congressional coalitions and a credible veto to force "all-or-nothing" choices between reform and the inefficient status quo. President Reagan's role in the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 is detailed in the light of this model; the analysis reveals the role of executive resources and the importance of the veto strategy to major fiscal reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert P. Inman, 1993. "Presidential Leadership and the Reform of Fiscal Policy: Learning from Reagan's Role in TRA 86," NBER Working Papers 4395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4395
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    Cited by:

    1. von Hagen, J├╝rgen, 1998. "Budgeting institutions for aggregate fiscal discipline," ZEI Working Papers B 01-1998, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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