Summary of We Are Better Than This

How Government Should Spend Our Money

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We Are Better Than This book summary
US fiscal and tax policies work against most Americans, but the laws aren’t too broken to fix.


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Professor Edward D. Kleinbard offers a comprehensive, bold and authoritative look at the role of government spending and what it means in shaping values in a democratic society. This rare scholarly analysis covers the fascinating but complex world of public policy, taxation and federal spending and its impact on American democracy. Kleinbard refutes enthusiasm about free-market capitalism by showing the economic benefits of social welfare and progressive taxation. Calling on his extensive experience running a nonpartisan US Congressional tax office, he compares the social and fiscal successes that other developed nations have achieved to the failures of US policy and politics. He focuses on the busy intersection of politics, social insurance, taxation and ideology. His incisive analysis, buttressed by 80 charts and tables, is hardly easy reading, but it proves highly rewarding. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends Kleinbard’s formidable treatise to anyone concerned about taxation and government spending.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How government spending shapes democratic societies
  • How different countries enact socially beneficial fiscal programs
  • How progressive taxation and economic programs can help the US invest in its citizens


Spending and Taxation
Managing fiscal policy – the process of government spending and taxation – proves the defining test for every democracy. Government spending transcends economics and involves social and moral policy questions that have vexed philosophers since Aristotle.
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About the Author

Edward D. Kleinbard teaches law and business at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law. He served as chief of staff of the US Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’s nonpartisan tax information resource.

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