2What is fiscal policy?Use of government spending and revenue collection to influence the economy.
3Fiscal Policy Expansionary Contractionary Used to raise the level of output in the economy.Increase government spendingBuy more goods and servicesCreate jobsLowers unemploymentCut taxesMore $ for individuals to spendBuy goods and servicesCreates jobsContractionaryUsed to slow down growth to prevent demand from exceeding supply (if this happens, suppliers have to either raise prices or raise output – can’t always increase output easily)Decrease government spendingGovt buys less goods and services, triggers slower GDP growthDecreased demand, lower pricesLower production = lower GDP, slows growthIncrease TaxesLess $ for individuals to spendFirms keep less of their profits, decrease spending on l, l, c.Decrease in demandPrices fallCut productionSlows GDP
4Limits to Fiscal Policy Can be hard to put into place.Hard to change spending levelsSome spending is fixed by law (entitlement programs – Medicaid, SS, veteran’s benefits.Small part of budget is discretionary spending (less room to cut)Hard to predict the futureEconomy sometimes hard to readDon’t know how fast the business cycle will changeEconomists disagree over what’s going on and what to do.Assumptions as to how people will behave are risky.Delayed ResultsChange takes time.Changes to budget take a year, then have to wait to feel effects of the change.Political PressuresWorries over re-election – make decisions to get elected, not always in interests of the economy.Coordinating Fiscal PolicyDifferent levels of government need to work together, hard to do.
5What is the budget and how is it created? Written document that shows how much government expects to take in during a year and authorizing it to spend for the year.It’s a plan to pay for the expenses of the government for a year.New budget prepared each year for a 12 month fiscal year (Oct. 1 – Sept. 30)Takes about 18 months to prepare
6Steps to preparing the budget 1 – proposals are made and sent to the Office of Management and Budget (Congress and the President make the proposals.)2 – OMB holds meetings to review proposals, works with President’s staff to come up with a single budget.3 – Congress considers, debates, makes changes, and works up a resolution. Appropriations Committee submits a bill to authorize spending.4 – appropriations sent to President for signature. If he signs it, the budget is done.
7Budget terms Balanced budget – revenue equals spending Budget surplus – take in more than spentBudget deficit – spend more than you take in.
8What’s the difference between the national debt and the deficit? Debt – the total amount of money the federal government owes to bondholders. (government borrows each year to cover the deficit) We owe investors who hold government bonds. It’s what we owe for all the years in existence added together!Deficit – the amount of money the government borrows for one budget, one year – the amount overspent in a year.
9What is the national debt today? $12 trillion as of Nov. 18, 2009.Interest was $3 million/minute.March 16, 2005 it was $7.7 trillion.2005 (Fall semester) it was $8 trillion.2006 it was $8.4 trillion.