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The Federal Budget: Current and Upcoming Issues.

Author: Mindy R Levit; D A Austin; LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE.
Publisher: Ft. Belvoir : Defense Technical Information Center, 10 DEC 2008.
Edition/Format:   eBook : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The federal budget implements Congress's "power of the purse" by expressing funding priorities through outlay allocations and revenue collections. Over the past decade, federal spending has accounted for approximately a fifth of the economy (as measured by GDP) and federal revenues have ranged between just over a fifth and just under a sixth of GDP. In FY2008, the U.S. Government collected $2.5 trillion in revenue  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Mindy R Levit; D A Austin; LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE.
OCLC Number: 505431323
Notes: Congressional rept.
Description: 22 pages ; 23 x 29 cm

Abstract:

The federal budget implements Congress's "power of the purse" by expressing funding priorities through outlay allocations and revenue collections. Over the past decade, federal spending has accounted for approximately a fifth of the economy (as measured by GDP) and federal revenues have ranged between just over a fifth and just under a sixth of GDP. In FY2008, the U.S. Government collected $2.5 trillion in revenue and spent almost $3.0 trillion. Outlays as a proportion of GDP rose from 18.4% in FY2000 to 20.9% of GDP in FY2008. Federal revenues as a proportion of GDP reached a post-WWII peak of 20.9% in FY2000 and then fell to 16.3% of GDP in FY2004 before rising slightly to 17.7% of GDP in FY2008. The budget also affects, and is affected by, the national economy as a whole. Given recent turmoil in the economy and financial markets, the current economic climate poses a major challenge to policy makers shaping the FY2009 and FY2010 federal budgets. Federal spending tied to means-tested social programs has been increasing due to rising unemployment, while federal revenues will likely fall as individuals' incomes drop and corporate profits sink. As a result, federal deficits over the next few years will likely be high relative to historic norms. In addition to funding existing programs in a challenging economic climate, the government has undertaken significant financial interventions in an attempt to alleviate economic recession. The ultimate costs of federal responses to this turmoil will depend on how quickly the economy recovers, how well firms with federal credit guarantees weather future financial shocks, and whether or not the government receives positive returns on its asset purchases. Estimating how much these responses will cost is difficult, both for conceptual and operational reasons. Despite these budgetary challenges, many economists believe that fiscal policy would be the most effective macroeconomic tool under current conditions.

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Primary Entity

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