2 What is the purpose of this chapter? To examine public-sector decisions of politicians, government bureaucrats, voters, and special interest groups
3 What about the size of government? Since the 1950’s, government expenditures have grown from about one-quarter to over one third of GDP
4 35 40 4550 556065707580859095 Year 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Total government expenditures Federal government expenditures 00 Government Expenditures 1935 - 2000 State & Local Gov. Expenditures
36 Key Concepts What has happened to the size of government?What has happened to the size of government? How do taxes in the U.S. compare to other countries?How do taxes in the U.S. compare to other countries? What is the benefits received principle? What is the ability to pay principle? What is a progressive tax?
37 Key Concepts cont. What is the marginal tax rate? What is a regressive tax? What is a proportional tax? What is the majority rule problem? What is the special-interest group effect? What is rational ignorance? What is bureaucratic inefficiency? What is the shortsightedness effect?
39 Between 1970 and 2000, income security became the largest category of federal expenditures. During the same period, national defense declined from the largest spending category to the second largest.
40 Net interest on the federal debt has grown from 9 percent of the budget in 1970 to 12.5 percent in 2000. Therefore, income security and net interest payments combined accounted for 60.5 percent of federal outlays in 2000.
41 The government's share of total economic activity has generally increased since World War II ended in 1945. Most of the growth in combined government expenditures as a percentage of GDP reflects rapidly growing federal government transfer programs.
42 00 35 40 4550 556065707580859095 Year 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Total government taxes Federal government taxes Growth in Taxes in the U.S., 1935 - 2000 State & Local Gov. Taxes
43 State and local government tax revenues consist primarily of sales and property taxes. While states rely on income taxes for revenue, they also collect sales and excise taxes. In addition, state budgets depend greatly on charges and revenue-sharing grants from the federal government.
44 Local governments collect most of their tax revenue from property taxes, but the majority of their receipts are from charges and grants from the federal and state governments.
45 The largest outlays for state and local governments have been for education. Between 1970 and 1997, transfer payments for public welfare’s share of the budget rose.
46 The taxation burden, measured by taxes as a percentage of GDP, is lighter in the U.S. than many other advanced industrial countries. Since 1960, federal taxes have remained a fairly constant fraction of GDP. State and local taxes, however, have generally increased as a percentage of GDP since the 1950’s
47 The benefits-received principle and the ability-to-pay principle are the two basic philosophies of taxation fairness.
48 The gasoline tax is a classic example of the benefits-received principle because users of the highways pay the gasoline tax.
49 Progressive income taxes follow the ability-to-pay principle because there is a direct relationship between the average tax rate and income size.
50 Sales, excise, and flat-rate taxes are examples of a regressive tax because each results in a greater burden on the poor than the rich.
51 Public choice theory reveals the government decision making process. For example, government failure can occur for any of the following reasons:
52 (1) Majority voting may not follow benefit-cost analysis, (2) special interest groups can obtain large benefits and spread their costs over many taxpayers, (3) rational voter ignorance means a sizeable portion of the voters will decide not to make informed judgements, (4) bureaucratic behavior may not lead to cost effectiveness, an (5) politicians suffer from a short time horizon, leading to a bias toward hiding the costs of programs.
54 1. From the 1950’s to the late-1990’s, total government expenditures as a percentage of GDP in the United States a. fell by half. b. nearly doubled. c. nearly tripled. d. increased about 40%. D.
55 35 40 4550 556065707580859095 Year 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Total government expenditures Federal government expenditures 00 Government Expenditures 1935 - 2000 State & Local Gov. Expenditures
56 2. Which of the following accounted for the second largest percentage of total federal government expenditures as of 2000? a. Income security. b. National defense. c. Interest on the national debt. d. Education and health. B
58 3. Which of the following contributed the second largest percentage of total state and local government revenues in 1998 (excluding “Other Categories”)? a. Corporate income taxes. b. Sales and excise taxes. c. Individual income taxes. d. Property taxes. D
60 4. Which of the following countries devotes about the same percentage of its GDP to taxes as the United States? a. Sweden. b. Italy. c. United Kingdom. d. Japan. D.
61 5. “The poor should not pay income taxes.” This statement reflects which of the following principles for a tax? a. Fairness of contribution. b. Benefits received. c. Inexpensive to collect. d. Ability to pay. D. Since the poor lack the ability to pay, the tax system should be designed so they pay less taxes than people with higher incomes.
62 6. Some cities finance their airports with a departure tax: Every person leaving the city by plane is charged a small fixes dollar amount that is used to help pay for building and running the airport. The departure tax follows the a. benefits-received principle. b. ability-to-pay principle. c. flat-rate taxation principle. d. public-choice principle. A. Those persons who are gaining the most from the airport are the ones who are paying the most for it.
63 7. Which of the following statements is true? a. The most important source of revenue to the federal government is personal income taxes. b. The most important source of revenue to state governments is sales and property taxes. c. The most important source of revenue to local governments is local property taxes.. d. The taxation burden, measured by taxes as a percentage of GDP, is lighter in the U.S. than in most other advanced industrial countries. e. All of the above are true. E
64 8. Which of the following statements is true? a. A sales tax on food is a regressive tax. b. The largest source of federal government tax revenue is individual income taxes. c. The largest source of state and local government tax revenue is sales and excise taxes. d. All the above are true statements. D.
65 9. A tax that is structured so that people with higher incomes pay a larger percentage of their income for the tax than do people with smaller incomes is called a (an) a. income tax. b. regressive tax. c. property tax. d. progressive tax. D. Answer a is not specific; b is the opposite principle, and c is based on property not income.
66 10. Generally, most economists feel that a ______type of income tax is a fairer way to raise government revenue than a sales tax. a. Regressive. b. Proportional. c. Flat-rate. d. Progressive. D. A progressive tax is argued to be fair because people with higher incomes pay more tax.
67 11. The federal personal income tax is an example of a (an) a. excise tax. b. proportional tax. c. progressive tax. d. regressive tax. C. Since the marginal tax rate increases with income, the federal personal income tax is a progressive tax.
68 12. A 5 percent sales tax on food is an example of a a. flat tax. b. progressive tax. c. proportional tax. d. regressive tax. D. A sales tax on food is a regressive tax because people with higher incomes do not spend proportionately more on food.
69 13. Margaret pays a local income tax of 2 percent, regardless of the size of her income. This tax is a. proportional. b. regressive. c. progressive. d. a mix of (a) and (b). A. Less tax is paid by a regressive tax and more tax is paid by a progressive tax as people’s incomes rise.
70 14. Which of the following statements relating to public choice is true? a. A low voter turnout may result when voters perceive that the marginal cost of voting exceeds its marginal benefit. b. If the marginal cost of voting exceeds its marginal benefit, the vote is unimportant. c. Special-interest groups always cause the will of a majority to be imposed on a minority. d. All of the above. A. This is the rational ignorance public choice theory.