Financial Condition and Operations of the National Government, 1921-1930

Financial Condition and Operations of the National Government, 1921-1930

Financial Condition and Operations of the National Government, 1921-1930

Financial Condition and Operations of the National Government, 1921-1930

Excerpt

There are few classes of economic data more desirable than that having for its purpose to reveal the financial condition and operations of governments. Such information is needed, not only as throwing light upon the extent to which governments are making increased demands upon the taxpayer but also as furnishing much the best means of stating and measuring the relative importance of the various activities engaged in by governments. There has been an unfortunate tendency for public attention to be concentrated too largely upon such single items as the total payments to governments in the form of taxes, total expenditures by governments, and the like. An increase in taxes has been viewed as, per se, an evil. Such a position is wholly an illogical one. Though governments may spend more, they do more; and it may well be that the increased demand made upon the taxpayer is more than offset by the additional service rendered to him. The really important things are not so much the grand totals of governmental revenues and expenditures as the sources from which such revenues are derived and the purposes to which the expenditures are devoted, the extent to which governments are improving their financial condition through the payment of their debts or the reverse, and the like. This information the present work seeks to present for the national government for the period elapsing since July 1, 1920, that period corresponding to the one during which the new system of financial administration resulting from the adoption of the budget system has been in operation and beginning with the year in which the financial operations of the government had returned to a fairly . . .

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