Revenue Sharing and the City

By Walter W. Heller; Richard Ruggles et al. | Go to book overview

COMMENTS ON BLOCK GRANTS TO THE STATES

Harvey E. Brazer*

Among the expressions of opposition to the "Heller Plan," two related objections appear to me to have gained most support. These are the contention that the states cannot be relied upon to spend block grants in accord with national priorities, and that the states cannot be trusted to take proper cognizance of the needs of local governments in the allocation of block grant funds.

Typical of the first of these objections is Richard Musgrave's view that: "There should be some assurance that funds, which originate at the national level, will be spent according to national priorities. Lacking this relationship, the revenue transfer may well result in a Balkanization of our expenditure structure, at the very time when a comprehensive national approach to public service programs is most needed."1 He prefers, apparently, to leave the states and their local subdivisions to their own resources except insofar as the tastes or preferences of the people living in those jurisdictions, as reflected in the policies of their legislative representatives, may coincide with the

____________________
*
Professor of Economics, The University of Michigan.
1
R. A. Musgrave, "National Taxes and Local Needs," The Nation, January 16, 1967, p. 80.

-100-

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Revenue Sharing and the City
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • I THE PAPERS 1
  • A SYMPATHETIC REAPPRAISAL OF REVENUE SHARING 3
  • THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND FEDERALISM 39
  • II THE DISCUSSION 73
  • REFLECTIONS ON THE CASE FOR THE HELLER PLAN 75
  • FEDERAL GRANTS TO CITIES, DIRECT AND INDIRECT 92
  • COMMENTS ON BLOCK GRANTS TO THE STATES 100
  • REBUTTAL COMMENTS 107
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