Statistical Handbook on Consumption and Wealth in the United States

By Chandrika Kaul; Valerie Tomaselli-Moschovitis | Go to book overview

H. The Role of Government

GENERAL OVERVIEW

This chapter details the way that governments--at the federal and state levels--affect the generation of wealth and consumption in the United States. Included is a sampling of data, covering a broad range of statistics and policy instruments that represent government's various roles. The details cover such items as receipts, outlays, and balance sheets, along with federal loans to small businesses and savings instruments that help to finance government activity.


EXPLANATION OF INDICATORS

H1. Federal Budget: The first table and three charts that follow it present data on the federal budget since World War II ( 1945 to 1998). The table shows total receipts against outlays on a year-by-year basis, along with the surplus or deficit for each year. The charts represent outlays as a percent of GDP; this allows the user to understand the extent to which federal government consumption has changed in relationship to the overall material capacity of the economy.

H2. Federal Receipts, by Source: The next two tables present detail on federal receipts from 1980 to 1998. Included is information on where government receipts come from including such categories as taxes, federal alcohol funds, and federal highway trust funds. This allows the user to understand the sectors of the economy that generate income for government consumption.

H3. Federal Budget Outlays: The next two tables present broad categories of government spending including defense, human resources, physical resources, and net interest payments from 1980 to 1998. They provide the user with a broad analysis of the federal government's consumption of resources.

H4. Gross Federal Debt: The next table and following three charts include data summarizing the changing nature of the gross federal debt over the long term, from 1945 to 1998. The table shows the structure of the debt including the amount held by the public, and the charts show the debt as a percent of the total GDP, which is a benchmark indicator that helps to analyze the capacity of our economy to carry the debt.

H5. Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans to Small Businesses: The next two tables present data on the federal government's loan program to small businesses. The tables represent the information on total loans and the share of the SBA program that goes to minorityowned firms across a mid-range time span ( 1980 to 1996). The SBA is an important federal policy instrument geared toward encouraging growth in the small business community, which is considered integral to the financial health and wealth of the country.

H6. Social Welfare Expenditures Under Public Programs: The next four tables, followed by three charts, present information on government moneys spent, at both federal and state/local level, on programs that support personal income and welfare. Presented across a mid- range timeframe, from 1980 to 1994, the data will help users analyze an arena of government involvement geared toward maintaining and supporting standardized levels of income and welfare.

H7. State Governments--Sources of General Revenue: The remaining tables and charts detail the way in which state governments fund their budgets and finance their expenditures. They represent the public component of income and wealth at the state level, and show how the wealth and consumption of governments derive from the constituencies they serve.

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Statistical Handbook on Consumption and Wealth in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents iii
  • Introduction v
  • List of Tables and Charts vii
  • A. General Economic Data 1
  • B. Personal, Family, and Household Income and Wealth 22
  • C. Business and Corporate Wealth 77
  • D. Overview of Consumption 97
  • E. Consumption--Material Goods 121
  • F. Consumption-----Services 177
  • G. Consumption--Travel, Leisure, and Other Non-Essentials 215
  • H. the Role of Government 254
  • Appendix: International Perspective 273
  • Index 281
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