Forkenbrock Series on Public Policy


Policy Primer: The Budget Riddle

Shaumbaugh Auditorium
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 6:30 PM
This week we tackle a topic that hovers over everything else we have discussed—budget and taxes. Our discussion, led by Peter Fisher (Emeritus Professor of Urban Planning and Research Director of the Iowa Policy Project), will look at patterns in American public finance (state and federal), including relevant historical perspective and international comparisons. 
In addition to the readings listed below, Students are encouraged to spend some time with one of the many online budget calculators, including the New York Times Budget Project, or American Public Media’s Budget Hero. For a good summary of federal spending patterns, go to the National Priority Project’s Federal Budget Dashboard. For a good overview of basic terms and concepts see the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Policy Basics page (federal budget is the first item, scroll down for state budget and taxes)


  • Peter Fisher

    Peter Fisher

    Urban and Regional Planning, University of Iowa, Research Director, Iowa Policy Project

    Peter Fisher is professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Iowa and a national expert on public finance. He has served as a consultant to the Iowa Department of Economic Development, the State of Ohio, and the Iowa Business Council. His reports are regularly published in State Tax Notes and refereed journals. His recent book Grading Places: What Do the Business Climate Rankings Really Tell Us? was published by theEconomic Policy Institute in 2005. Dr. Fisher is also research director at the Iowa Policy Project. He is directly involved in research, writing and outreach on state tax and budget issues. He has authored or co-authored many of Iowa Fiscal Partnership reports and guest opinions on state tax policy. Dr Fisher holds a PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Audio Slideshows