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    The Influence of Interest Groups on Federal Budgeting

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    What are some of the different political influences and various stakeholder interests that exist in the federal government in terms of budgeting? Why are they important to understand? How can each of those political influences affect public budgeting?

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    The issue here is called 'clientelism'. That is, federal programs automatically have (at least) two sets of clients; those who receive the largess and the bureaucracy that oversees it.

    Here is a paper that is a must read for this topic:
    The Rise of the Bureaucratic State by James Q. Wilson

    This is the basic concept:

    A program of the federal government, once passed and funded, creates a web of interests. These interests then form an 'interest group' that then has the sole purpose of protecting this program. It then becomes almost impossible to change or de-fund the program once these groups are functional and in place. Wilson then claims that a) the program was initially part of the public good, but b) once private interests get involved, that shifts.
    You can envision the entire American government this way; it is really a set of mobilized populations within the general American population that has a specific interest in a specific program.

    Therefore, really, American politics is about how these mobilized groups/interest groups fight it out to keep or increase their share of the federal pie. The only group that is NOT organized is the taxpayer.

    Yet, it is easy to envision that there is ...

    Solution Summary

    The different political influences and various stakeholder interest that exists in the federal government in terms of budgeting is determined.