Faculty Author: Joëlle Leclaire

Most people are wrong in their attitude toward the federal deficit, Joelle Leclaireaccording to Joëlle Leclaire, assistant professor of economics and finance. That’s why she wrote The Great Deficit Debacle: Causes and Consequences of American Federal Budget Surpluses and Deficits.

In this book—her first—Leclaire argues that government policy aimed at avoiding a federal deficit is misguided. “Government spending is fundamental to our welfare as Americans,” she said. “I wrote this book so that people can understand that federal deficits are important for our well-being.” She believes that the United States could solve a lot of problems if people understood the deficit better.

Leclaire hopes the book will become a resource for government economists and policymakers, academic economists, and concerned citizens who “want to understand what can be done to improve the economy’s capacity to create jobs, wealth, and prosperity,” as the back cover proclaims. She was careful to write the book in straightforward, understandable language. “Revision was the hardest part of writing the book,” she said. “The whole process took two years.”

Readers will come away with the understanding that, in terms of policies toward the federal deficit, the government does not do what is in the country’s best interests. Leclaire argues that, since the 1980s, Congress and presidents have attempted to reduce the federal deficit despite the lack of empirical evidence that such a reduction benefits the economy.

Her next book will address concerns closer to home. “I’m interested in the massive rise in household debt,” she said, “so my next book will be written for a general audience about consumer debt.”

Leclaire will sign copies of The Great Deficit Debacle at the Barnes & Noble at Buffalo State Bookstore today, October 9, during Bengal Pause (12:15–1:30 p.m.).


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Allen Shelton
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