The Budget Process: An Analysis Of Steven Koven's Findings

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Thesis Steven Koven 's argument is that the budget process is not just a system of economic assumptions and political rules, but an open expression of political culture and political ideology of the various actors involved in the budget process. The concept of self-interest will be peppered throughout the various examples along with political culture and ideology. He concludes that there will be significant differences in how the budget is used and how the budget is viewed given different beliefs and culture. Summary of Findings Koven first lays the groundwork for distinctly American political culture and ideology. He brings up the fact the United States has been influenced by John Locke 's idea of private property; individualism…show more content…
Individualists tend to come from the Middle States and the Midwest which leads them to take a neutral stance on government and governmental actions only if there is a compelling reason for that action. Traditionalists tend to be more conservative and are found across the Southern states, and the southwest who view that the status quo is necessary thus refuses to initiate any program that goes against the established…show more content…
on a course on a budget surplus in the early 2000s. In 1994, the Republicans were swept into power with the mandate to fight against President Clinton. That conflict resulted in a series of budget showdowns in 1995 and 1996 that hurt the Republican chances in the 1996 Presidential election (Koven 1999, p.80-81). After 1996, there was a sense that budget conflicts and shutdowns hurt the opposition party in Congress. The budget agreements had specific elements that appealed to both ideologies. The conservatives were happy because spending was cut and taxes were lowered, but also there were tax credits for families that made the religious groups happy (Koven 1999, p.76). Liberals were also pleased because there was funding for special scholarships for high school students and for a national children 's health insurance program appealing to the notion of bettering the public (Koven 1999, p.77). This budget deal was the realization that each member of Congress is his own man or woman and that his reputation was at stake. When the public saw that Congress could not get along with the President they made a choice to support the President and hurt the Republicans. The Individualistic nature of many Representatives and Senators was evident in the 1997 Budget agreement because Congress wants to get reelected and they found out they could not be in power when they were too ideological pure

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