American ﬁscal policy in the postwar era: an interpretive history
From a macroeconomist’s perspective, the central issue surrounding ﬁscal policy has traditionally been its efﬁcacy as a tool for stabilization. This focus on aggregate activity typically has led to a parallel concentration on ﬁscal aggregates: revenues, spending, and deﬁcits. But a focus on aggregates masks signiﬁcant changes that have occurred over the postwar years in US ﬁscal policy. Some of these changes, in turn, have consequences for the practice of stabilization and budget policy. Given the continuing evolution in the composition of revenues and spending, a look below the surface will provide some insight into the future challenges to the practice of ﬁscal policy.