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Mathematics & Economics
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Public Budgeting at the National Government Level (Essay Sample)

Instructions:
The goal of this activity is to give you some background on public budgeting at the national government level, and give you some more familiarity with some of the terminology used in public budgeting. Step 1: Read through the Tax Policy Center's report, “The Numbers,” which can be found at http://www(dot)taxpolicycenter(dot)org/briefing-book/background/numbers/revenue.cfm. There are four pages to read through – use the arrow just above the title to advance to the other pages. Step 2: Read through the Tax Policy Center's report, “Taxes and the Budget,” which can be found at http://www(dot)taxpolicycenter(dot)org/briefing-book/background/taxes-budget/short-term.cfm. There are eight pages to read through – use the arrow just above the title to advance to the other pages. Step 3: Submit answers to the following questions [the first five questions are drawn from “The Numbers” report, and the other five questions are drawn from the “ Taxes and the Budget” report; ]; you do not need to write a ‘formal' paper – you can merely list the questions and provide the answers, BUT your paper should not merely cut-and-paste from the website, nor should it merely copy direct quotes from the website. Write the report in your own words (although you can use quotes in support of, but not in place of, your writing): 1) Since 1950, what has been the largest single source of federal revenue? 2) Based on the report and our readings, but in your own words, how can mandatory expenditures best be defined, and how can discretionary expenditures best be defined? 3) Comparing mandatory expenditures and discretionary expenditures, which of the two claims a larger share of the federal budget, and was this always the case? If there has been a shift in the ratio between mandatory and discretionary expenditures, why has that shift occurred? 4) What percentage of its revenue did the federal government transfer to state and local governments in 2010? Did most of those transfers go to state or local governments? 5) In 2010, which OECD countries had lower taxes as a percentage of GDP than the United States? In comparison with other OECD countries, the U.S. relies on which form of tax the least? 6) According to the “Taxes and the Budget” report, what is the time line utilized by the Congressional Budget Office for its budget baseline (i.e. how many years ahead does the CBO project its budget baseline), and what is the timeline for Office of Management and Budget? By 2012, which budget projection (CBO or OMB) shows a larger budget surplus, and what is a reason for that? 7) Based on the report, but in your own words, explain why short-run budget projections tend to be highly inaccurate, and, based on the report, identify one reason that very long term budget projections tend to be more accurate and credible. 8) Based on the report, but in your own words, cite two (2) reasons why entitlement spending is considered “ uncontrollable”. On the other hand, how can entitlement spending be curbed or “controlled”? 9) Based on the report, but in your own words, explain the meaning of tax “extenders”, and explain why Congress enacts so many of these provisions? 10) According to the report, which are the only two entities in the federal budget that were at one time “on-budget” but are now “ off-budget”? source..
Content:
Public Budgeting At the National Government Level Name: Institution: Since 1950, what has been the largest single source of federal revenue? Individual income tax has remained the top and single largest source of the federal revenue to the government since 1950 to the year 2010. Out of the total Gross Domestic Product, the individual income tax contributes about 8% (Tax Policy Center, 2013). Based on the report and our readings, but in your own words, howcan mandatory expenditures best be defined, and how can discretionaryexpenditures best be defined? Mandatory expendituresare basically the monies that the federal government spends on all the federal programs which the congress has already passed under the authorization laws. As such the spending cannot be altered in any other way other than having to review the law that authorise the programs funding. Discretionary expenditures on the other hand are those expenses that the government can cut back at any time depending on the amount of funds that are available for use. Comparing mandatory expenditures and discretionary expenditures,which of the two claims a larger share of the federal budget, and wasthis always the case? If there has been a shift in the ratio betweenmandatory and discretionary expenditures, why has that shift occurred? As of 2010, the mandatory expenses covered more than 55% of the total amount that the government spent. The discretionary covered about 39% in the same year, for all the activities that the congress can reauthorize each year (Amadeo, 2013). Over the past four years there has been a shift in the amount of money that the government spends on the mandatory spending, where the same has doubled. The discretionary expense has fallen from two thirds to about two fifths. This shift has been due to the fact that much of the money that was initially allocated to the discretionary expenses is now going to the defence, agricultural subsides, federal courts and highways construction (Siddons, 2013). What percentage of its revenue did the federal government transferto state and local governments in 2010? Did most of those transfers goto state or local governments? $4 trillion is the amount of money that the federal, state and the local governments collected in terms of revenue. Out of which the federal government brought in more than 60%, while the other two governments brought in about 40% (Tax Policy Center, 2013). The federal government then transferred more than a fifth of the total revenue it had collected to the state and local government. This means that close to a seventh of the total revenue that the government had collected went to the state government and then to the local government, as such they both received equal shares. In 2010, which OECD countries had lower taxes as a percenta...
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