Creative Politics

Taxes and Public Goods in a Federal System
Glenn Beamer
Offers a new perspective on how state legislators make decisions about what public services to provide and how to pay for them


State legislators are constantly making trade-offs between changing taxes and providing public services. Based on a series of in-depth case studies on how legislators in eleven states made decisions dealing with legislation on taxation, economic development, education financing, and Medicaid, Glenn Beamer identifies the principle factors in their decision making.

Beamer identifies six factors that govern legislators' decisions: accountability, dependability, equity, obscurability, and horizontal and vertical transferability. Within the context created by citizen demands, intergovernmental politics, policy histories, court interventions, and state constitutions, Creative Politics analyzes how legislators employ these principles to develop and enact policies.

This study is novel in its focus on politicians' views about public goods, the strategies to finance them, and efforts to develop and maintain political support for them. The case studies afford a unique analysis not only of successful proposals but also of proposals that were rejected or substantially modified.

Creative Politics will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, economics, and public administration, and, more specifically, of federalism, state politics and policy, and legislative decision making.

Glenn Beamer is Assistant Professor of Government and Assistant Professor of Health Evaluation Sciences, University of Virginia.

Praise / Awards

  • ". . . the politics of federalism within states takes place within a domain of feasible alternatives, and often this domain does not intersect with the set of optimal policies. In his descriptions of the tax and policy choices made by state legislators, Glenn Beamer has helped clarify this crucial issue. The book is a good choice for students of state politics, public policy, and federalism."
    —Paul Brace, Rice University, American Political Science Review , December 2000
  • "For interested students and scholars of political science, economics, public administration and more specifically federalism, state politics and policy, and legislative process, Creative Politics is a valuable text."
    —Arthur Holst, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Volume 31, No. 3 (2001)

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 192pp.
  • 2 drawings and 21 tables.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2000
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08730-3

Add to Cart
  • $26.95 U.S.

Related Products