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Additional info for American Exceptionalism Revisited: US Political Development in Comparative Perspective
Besides the national government, accordingly, there are territorial governments of importance (which is the basic token of a federal system), but in terms of influence at the central level there are no strong channels of representation for the latter. 11 In the comparative investigation that follows, we will gauge the degree of confederalism vs. federalism in the United States today, relative to that 38 American Exceptionalism Revisited in some other countries of federal structure. Before we proceed, however, another point of interest—which indeed will figure in the comparative study— needs to be clarified.
The federal government would no longer be a distant entity, with little or no role in ordinary people’s lives. Among Roosevelt’s successors, such ambitions were manifested primarily by Woodrow Wilson (in office between 1913 and 1921) who as a Democrat also had linkages to the Progressive movement. His policy accomplishments included further antitrust measures, the regulation of the labor market, and the reestablishment of a national bank: the Federal Reserve, instituted in 1913 and maintained ever since (Milkis 2009; Donald 2007; Skowronek 1982).
7 Due to these particular institutional traits, the United States has lacked the fiscal basis for the evolution of a welfare state, and thus for the development of a public sector on a West European scale (Steinmo 1996). Yet on the whole this institutional system has been maintained, and revenues have not risen much since the 1990s. On the other hand, a considerable expansion has taken place on the expenditure side—making conditions on the two sides of the Atlantic rather similar. And we know how this has been accomplished: essentially through an increase in the federal deficit.