Planning, Programming, and Budgeting Systems (PPB): The Conflict Between Political and Economic Rationality in the Budgetary Process
Butterfield, Kevin W.
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This paper will be divided into three separate sections of analysis. The first will present an abbreviated description of program budgeting system or PPB and will also provide a historical background of the evolution of PPB. This section will culminate in the presentation of Allen Schick's argument on the virtues of program budgeting and the application of economic rationality to the budgetary process. The second section will be devoted entirely to the presentation of Lindblom and Wildavsky's defense of political rationality and of their criticism of comprehensive systems of decision-making. The third and concluding section will attempt to synthesize the major contributions of the two preceding arguments into a practical form for realistic application and possible future refinement. The ideas of the advocates of political and economic rationality will then be resolved with the insights of two modern budgetary practitioners, Charles Schultze and Alice Rivlin found in The Politics and Economics of Public Expenditures and Systematic Thinking for Social Action respectively.