Dead Men Ruling

By C. Eugene Steuerle

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Winner of the TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award

The news coming out of Washington, D.C., and reverberating around the nation increasingly sounds like a broken record: low or zero growth in employment, inadequate funds to pay future Social Security and Medicare obligations, cuts in funding for education and children’s programs, arbitrary sequesters or cutbacks in good and bad programs alike, threats not to pay our nation’s debts, inability to reach political compromise, and political parties with no real vision for twenty-first-century government.

In Dead Men Ruling, C. Eugene Steuerle argues that these seemingly separable economic and political problems are actually symptoms of a common disease, one unique to our time. Despite the despairing claims of many, Steuerle points out that we no more live in an age of austerity than did Americans at the turn into the twentieth century with the demise of the frontier. Recognizing this extraordinary but checked potential is also the secret to breaking the political logjam that—as Steuerle points out—was created largely by now dead (or retired) men.

Gene Steuerle brings both enormous experience and great wisdom in thinking about the Federal budget.  This book moves beyond the urgent to the truly important as it seeks to provide a broad theory of our problems and to chart a forward course.  Anyone concerned with our economic future should carefully consider Steuerle’s arguments.”

-Lawrence H. Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury and former Director, White House National Economic Council

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