budget

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

budget

budget, inclusive list of proposed expenditures and expected receipts of any person, enterprise, or government for a specified period, usually one year. Budget estimates are based on the expenditures and receipts of a similar previous period, modified by any expected changes. The governmental budget originated during the late 18th cent. in England.

The U.S. Budget

In the United States, the president was not required to submit an annual federal budget estimate until the passage (1921) of the Budget and Accounting Act. According to the act, the president must annually submit to Congress a budget that shows the condition of the Treasury at the end of the last completed fiscal year, its estimated condition at the end of the current fiscal year, and its estimated condition at the end of the ensuing year if the budget proposals are carried out; the revenues and expenditures during the last completed year and the estimates thereof for the current year; recommendations of provisions for meeting the revenues and expenditures for the ensuing year; and any other data considered helpful to Congress in its determination of the government's financial policy. No other administrative officer is allowed to make revenue recommendations unless asked to do so by Congress.

To help the president, the Budget and Accounting Act also created the Bureau of the Budget, under the Treasury Dept., to receive, compile, and criticize estimates of expenditure needs submitted by the various governmental services and to study in detail all government services and recommend to the president any changes that will increase their economy and efficiency. The bureau was transferred (1939) to the executive office of the president, and reconstituted (1970) as the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), with additional functions involving the review of organizational structure within the executive branch of the federal government. The national budget is often regarded as one of the major policy statements of a presidential administration.

The U.S. Budget Deficit

Since the beginning of World War II the national budget has grown immensely, in part because of increased defense expenditures. Revenues have not kept pace with expenditures, and the federal budget has had annual deficits since 1969. During the 1960s and 70s, the overall economy grew faster than the deficits. In the 1980s, however, annual deficits grew to over $200 billion, reaching a record high of $290 billion in 1992.

Budget reforms passed in 1974 mandated congressional budget resolutions to serve as alternatives to the president's proposed budget, and budget impasses became common. The 1985 Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act tried to control America's escalating deficits by giving the U.S. comptroller general the right to order spending cuts if the president and Congress did not reduce the deficit, but the bill was ultimately declared unconstitutional. There have been repeated calls for balanced budget and line-item veto amendments to the Constitution, but no such measures have been passed. In 1996 a law establishing a limited presidential line-item veto was passed by Congress, but it was ruled unconstitutional in 1998. In the late 1990s budget-tightening measures—aided by the U.S. economic boom—reduced the deficit and led to two consecutive federal budget surpluses (1998–99); back-to-back surpluses had last occurred in 1956–57. In 1998, President Clinton presented to Congress a balanced federal budget, the first such budget since 1969. A balanced budget was maintained through late 2001, but tax cuts, the cost of President Bush's "war on terrorism," increased defense and other spending, and the effects of an economic recession produced a deficit again beginning with the 2002 budget. The 2004 deficit reached a new record level, $412.6 billion, a figure that did not include tens of billions spent on the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq, but it dropped in subsequent years until a financial crisis and severe recession caused it to rise to $455 billion in 2008 and soar to $1.4 trillion in 2009.

Bibliography

See J. D. Savage, Balanced Budgets and American Politics (1988); D. S. Ippolito, Uncertain Legacies: Federal Budget Policies from Roosevelt through Reagan (1990).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

budget
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.