Like the United States today, Renaissance Florence and Victorian Britain were the richest, most dynamic economic systems of their times. Yet each succumbed to a fiscal crisis brought on by public debt and taxation and eventually fell into long-term economic decline. Now, public debt and taxation dominate the America policy agenda. Must the United States follow the same dismal pattern of fiscal crisis and economic decline? Mountains of Debt argues that it is not too late for the United States to change directions and suggests a comprehensive program for reform of American fiscal institutions that would reduce the deficit problem and at the same time reverse the long-term structural trends that are both the cause and the effect of the fiscal crisis today. Offering proposals for reducing the deficit, this new analysis could alter the current course of the United States economy.
"Mountains of Debt is stimulating and its value is best described in Veseth's own words: "the British and Florentine experience provides us with good 'stories' to help raise public [and historical] consciousness."--The Historian
"The framework he has chosen provides the reader with numerous insights into the condition of the American economy and American public finance in the 1980s as well as their probable condition in the future."--Journal of American History
"An imaginative and stimulating piece of work that will interest scholars and students in a broad range of disciplines...as well as the informed general reader."--History: Reviews of New Books
"[A] refreshing book."--The Economist
"Reading Veseth will illuminate the analysis of U.S. public debt, highlighting the need to understand and appreciate its historical counterparts and perspectives. This will make Mountains of Debt important reading for anyone considering the policy issues involved."--James A. Papke, Purdue University
"A useful addition to the growing debate on US economic policy and reform."--Choice
"The book is a good one, the topic is of great current interest. Veseth has some real scholarly insight into U.S. public finance."--Charles P. Kindleburger