Case Study #4:
Public Budgeting-Death of a Spy Satellite Program
Columbus State University
1) Why does Irene Rubin at the outset argue that "public budgets are not merely technical managerial documents; they are also intrinsically and irreducibly political"? Do you agree or disagree based on your reading of the case "County Prison Overtime"
Irene Rubin’ view that public budgets are not merely technical managerial documents and that they are also intrinsically and irreducibly political is because public budgets reflect the choice of government. As a general rule of thumb, government chooses to go along with programs that fit their own political agenda. Programs should reflect a general consensus about what kind or type of services that government should provide to the people. She argued that budgets should reflect priorities. Should government spend money on national defense or on public welfare? or should government spend money on the criminal justice system rather than nuclear power? She also believes that budgets should reflect broader public goals, meaning that legislators ought to listen their constituency and approve more spending to satisfy their needs. She further stated that government should be accountable. People always want to know if government is following their preferences and keep its promises. They also want to know that there isn’t any waste and want to see solid outcome. Irene also thinks that budgets should ensure that taxation is done fairly to redistribute wealth either upward or downward. She stated that budgets should influence the economy, so that fiscal policy can affect the level of unemployment. Finally, she argued that budgetary decision-making should be relative to budget actors between the branches of government.
After reading the “Death of a Spy Satellite Program”, I concluded that I disagree with her....