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Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget | [David Wessel]

Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget

In a sweeping narrative about the people and the politics behind the budget, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter David Wessel looks at the 2011 fiscal year (which ended September 30) to see where all the money was actually spent, and why the budget process has grown wildly out of control.
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Publisher's Summary

In a sweeping narrative about the people and the politics behind the budget, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter David Wessel looks at the 2011 fiscal year (which ended September 30) to see where all the money was actually spent, and why the budget process has grown wildly out of control. Through the eyes of key people-Jacob Lew, White House director of the Office of Management and Budget; Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office; Blackstone founder and former Commerce Secretary Pete Peterson; and more-Wessel gives listeners an inside look at the making of our unsustainable budget.

©2012 David Wessel (P)2012 Tantor

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    Graham Los Angeles, CA, United States 09-20-12
    Graham Los Angeles, CA, United States 09-20-12 Member Since 2006
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    "An Eye Opening Introduction to the National Debt"

    This is a great introduction to the US debt problem. It reveals where the US debt came from, how big it is and why it is such a difficult problem to solve. In this short book Wessel paints a fairly clear picture of what America is spending its money on. He shows how entitlements such as social security and medicare as well as the military contribute greatly to the debt problem. He shows that the only way to solve the problem is to both significantly reduce spending and increase taxes broadly. Small changes, however, such as raising the eligibility age of social security or increasing taxes only on the rich can not resolve the issue. Without large substantive changes, the debt problem will only continue to get worse.

    The book lacks a discussion of what would happen eventually if nothing is done. Instead it focuses on the current stalemate between the republicans and the democrats. He shows how the plans of those on the right, such as Paul Ryan, differ from those on the left, such as President Obama.

    All together this is a very good introduction at explaining what the debt problem is. But if you already know some of what it is, maybe you would be more interested in a book that examines the consequences of not fixing it, such as "Endgame: The End of The Debt Supercycle And How It Changes Everything" by John Mauldin

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert fremont, CA, United States 10-25-12
    Robert fremont, CA, United States 10-25-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Disappointing at best"
    What would have made Red Ink better?

    More objective less partisan


    Would you ever listen to anything by David Wessel again?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of Lloyd James’s performances?

    Sure


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I was hoping for a non partisan look at the budget. Didn't find it here.

    0 of 6 people found this review helpful
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