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What Is Fiscal Responsibility? Long-Term Deficits, Generational Accounting, And Capital Budgeting, Neil H. Buchanan
Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers
This article assesses three basic approaches to assessing the future effects of the government’s fiscal policies: traditional measures of the deficit, measures associated with Generational Accounting, and measures derived from applying Capital Budgeting to the federal accounts. I conclude that Capital Budgeting is the best of the three approaches and that Generational Accounting is the least helpful. Acknowledging that there might be some value in learning what we can from a variety of approaches to analyzing fiscal policy, I nevertheless conclude that Generational Accounting is actually a misleading or--at best--empty measure of future fiscal developments. The best approach to ...