The public budgeting process intensifies political competition at all levels of the U.S. federal system. Gosling clearly explains the intergovernmental dynamics of the actors, institutions, and processes of U.S. public budgeting at the local, state, and federal levels—both now and through changes of the last several decades. This edition examines tax policy in the 2008 presidential elections, budgeting for military expenditures in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the challenges facing state and local governments during budget shortfalls. Updates throughout focus on fiscal policy and budgetary politics during the George W. Bush administration and projections into Obama’s presidency. In addition, Gosling adds a new chapter on the nuts and bolts of the budgetary process, focused on the implications of budget formats for political outcomes.