We just discovered that the book-sharing site GoodReads has some great discussion about A People's Guide to the Federal Budget. Here's what a young person by the name of Chris Byron had to say about our book, along with his four-out-of-five star rating:
This is the type of book that puts college text books to shame. Studying the federal budget, the tax system, tax rates, interest rates, appropriation of taxes, and budget legislation, could take three-four months, require testing, memorization, etc. Or, from now on, the reader can buy this book, and have most of the mentioned materials mastered; at the very least, if not mastered, they’ll retain a perfect source book for referencing.
The author takes a very school-house rock tone. There is no pomp or flair, and the book tries to be as bipartisan as possible. I say tries because even being bipartisan is be pro partisan to the dual party dominance we have, over alternative parties, but that’s another rant, for another time.
The book opens with a discussion of why the reader should care about the federal budget. And it’s due to this chapter alone that I negate one star, from an otherwise consummate book. The school-house rock presentation of the people being sovereign, in charge of the state, and overall living in a flourishing democracy that momentarily has gotten away from us, can return with a few letters, and well considered ballot votes, is ridiculous. Again, this is a rant best saved for another time.
Then the book goes on to discuss a history of the budget process, how it’s initially drawn up, where the money comes from, etc. Basically any question you could possibly have about the federal budget is addressed.
Our thanks to Chris for reviewing our book, and for bringing up the issue of what it will take to make our democracy truly flourish. As Josh Silver says in the afterword to the book, money in politics is a major barrier standing between us and the participatory and transparent democracy that we envision. It's a long road to tackling that issue, but a road we've got to walk.