Chapter 5 -- The Federal Budget Budget = Tax Revenues - Government Expenditure (over a given period) Budget = Tax Revenues - (Government purchases of goods and services + Transfer Payments + Interest on the National Debt) Budget Definitions Budget < 0 -- Budget Deficit Budget > 0 -- Budget Surplus Budget = 0 -- Balanced Budget Realistic Goal -- Balanced Budget when Y = YN. The Federal Budget: 2001 (Billions of Dollars) Tax Revenues = $1991.0 Government Expenditure = $1863.9 Budget = $127.1 Source: Economic Indicators, April 2002 Breakdown of Tax Revenues Personal Income Taxes = $1010.1 Corporate Profits Taxes = $186.5 Indirect Business Taxes = $110.9 Contributions for Social Insurance = $720.6 Breakdown of Government Expenditure Consumption Expenditures (G) = $514.1 Transfer Payments = $831.7 Grants-in-aid to State and Local Governments = $274.2 Net Interest Paid = $236.4 Net Subsidies of Gov’t Enterprises = $52.4 The Budget: In Our Notation Recall variable definitions: -- T = net taxes = tax revenues - (transfer payments + interest on the national debt) -- G = government purchases of goods and services The Budget and The Size of the Deficit Budget = T - G Size of Deficit = G - T The National Debt The National Debt -- The total accumulated stock of debt owed by the government to its lenders. Expanded by deficits, reduced by surpluses National Debt -- Realistic Goal Realistic Goal -- consider the Debt-Income Ratio = (National Debt)/(GDP). For US in 2001 = ($3320.0)/($10208.1) = 0.325 Decomposition of Deficit Purpose -- break up deficit for more precise analysis of causes. Consider the deficit, with the income tax function for net taxes. Deficit = G - (T0 + tY*) Add and subtract the term tYN Deficit = [G - (T0 + tYN)] + t(YN - Y*) The Cyclical Deficit The Cyclical Deficit = t(YN - Y*) -- the deficit that arises when the economy is not at its natural level. Sluggish economy (Y* < YN) positive cyclical deficit. Economy with accelerating inflation (Y* > YN) negative cyclical deficit. More on the Cyclical Deficit Connected with Automatic Stabilization -- net tax revenues change automatically in directions that work to stabilize the economy. Cyclical deficit -- not considered a special problem. It’s resolved when Y = YN. The Structural Deficit The Structural Deficit = [G - (T0 + tYN)]. Interpretation -- the deficit that remains after Y* = YN. Constitutes a problem, with a need for special deficit policy. Realistic Goal (Budget) -- zero structural deficit. •Analyzing the Deficit -- A Numerical Example Year Structural + Cyclical = Total 1979 100 -50 50 (Y* > YN) 1982 100 50 150 (Y* < YN) 1995 100 0 100 (Y* = YN) Main Results From Example Overstimulated economy can mask a deficit problem. Sluggish economies tend to have larger deficits. Two step strategy -- deficits (1) Get Y* = YN. (2) Take steps to reduce deficit that remains. Why are the Debt and Deficits a Problem? Hampers the use of fiscal policy. Getting the benefits without considering the costs. Crowding Out Effect -- higher deficits may increase interest rates, reducing investment and possibly net exports. The Crowding Out Effect Consider macro identity: S + (T - G) + -NX = I. Less government saving (T - G) , more reliance on foreign borrowing (NX) or lower investment (I). Particularly damaging if investment decreases (more later). The Increased Debt: Burden on Future Generations Older generations enjoy benefits from the debt. But younger generations have to sacrifice in the future to repay the debt or at least maintain the interest payments. Lower investment retards development of the capital stock, the economy’s productive capacity for future generations. Maybe Effects of Deficits and Debt Aren’t so Bad Riccardian Equivalence -- Given an increased deficit, older people correspondingly increase their saving. Older generations provide the means to pay debt and interest. Riccardian Equivalence -- No Crowding Out Effect Within the macro identity: S + (T - G) + -NX = I. Riccardian Equivalence when (T - G), S simultaneously interest rates and therefore Investment are unaffected. Another Reason Why Debt May Not Be Overly Harmful The government (in reality) as producer as well as spender. Some G is in fact government investment (e.g. buildings) Some investment government can do better than the private sector (infrastructure). Reducing a Structural Deficit = [G - (T0 + tYN)] Increase Taxes (income or consumption-based) Advantages: smaller multiplier, can focus on higher incomes, undesirable behavior. Disadvantages: implicit permission for government to be inefficient in its spending. Reducing a Structural Deficit = [G - (T0 + tYN)] Decrease Transfer Payments. Advantages: smaller multiplier, largest component of government expenditure, holds the line on taxes. Disadvantages: very painful to the groups affected (often vulnerable). Reducing a Structural Deficit = [G - (T0 + tYN)] Decrease Government Purchases of Goods and Services Advantages: permanence, gives discipline to government, encourages (often more efficient) private sector to replace government programs. Disadvantages: largest multiplier, most painful way. Reducing a Structural Deficit = [G - (T0 + tYN)] All three are contractionary measures, will reduce Y*. -- shifts EP curve downward -- shifts IS curve leftward Hopefully, i* will decrease (IS-LM), I, with its associated benefits. One more possibility -- can we make YN? -- Discussed later.
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