As with all political matters, public budgeting reflects the foundational ideas, values and goals of the political leaders and other actors that shape the public budgeting process and influence outcomes. Public budgeting debates often arise from the most fundamental ideas about the role and limits of government in the lives of citizens and from disagreements about the most moral, acceptable, wise and productive financial practices available to government. These debates raise important questions such as, should we, as a nation, work to maximize freedom and liberty by reducing government intrusion, or should we be willing to sacrifice some amount of liberty for the security of government provision? Should we seek to reduce government involvement in the lives of citizens or encourage greater government regulation of the lives activities of the American people? And, should we accept perpetual deficit spending as a sound financial practice, or is perpetual deficit spending a path to financial self-destruction for current and future generations? Chapters 1 through 3 of the Lee text will provide you with an introduction to the influence of the idea of Constitutionally Limited Government on many of these issues.
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