Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

List of Tables

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

It is no wonder the American Congress is among the most reviled of American institutions, political or otherwise. We know a great deal about the institution, its structure and constitutional power, its organization, and the people who inhabit it and their behavior. ...

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Chapter 1. Introduction

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pp. 1-14

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the United States Congress was finally able to put into place a procedure that closed a significant number of military installations around the country, both improving the force posture of the American military and saving billions of precious dollars for the general treasury. ...

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Chapter 2. Base Closure

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pp. 15-35

The problem of closing military bases presents a classic collective-action problem. Members have obvious electoral incentives to acquire military bases for their districts just as they regularly seek federal grants and construction projects. But members have even greater electoral incentives to ensure that benefits already acquired are maintained.1 ...

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Chapter 3. Nuclear Waste Disposal

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pp. 36-66

Site selection for a high-level nuclear waste facility presents a policy problem that is very similar to base closure. In closing military installations, legislators are faced with the prospect of imposing significant, geographically concentrated costs on specific districts in favor of a general, diffuse benefit.1 ...

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Chapter 4. NAFTA

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pp. 67-96

The pursuit of free trade presents a policy problem very similar to those discussed in the previous chapters. While virtually all economists agree that lowering trade barriers promotes economic growth and reduces prices for consumers, legislators find it difficult to avoid the allure of particularistic protectionism in the absence of procedural restraint. ...

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Chapter 5. Tax Reform

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pp. 97-132

In many ways, it is useful to think of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (Public Law 99–514) as the mirror image of base closure. Base closure was a case where legislators imposed geographically concentrated costs in a narrow policy area while, in tax reform, legislators were operating in a broad policy area and taking away particularistic benefits that were (relatively speaking) geographically dispersed. ...

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Chapter 6. Conclusion

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pp. 133-142

The cases examined in the preceding chapters are worthy of our attention in the budgetary climate of 2005. An era of structural budget deficits appears to have returned and it likely will not be long before we see legislative leaders searching for ways to make particularistic cuts in favor of the general benefit of deficit reduction. ...

Notes

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pp. 143-152

Bibliography

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pp. 153-158

Index

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pp. 159-164

Other Titles in the Series

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