Sunday, February 24, 2013

I don't think I ever looked at this ratio before...

Courtesy of Random Eyes and FRED and Jerry: a graph comparing current receipts to current expenditures of the Federal government, FRED graph #1Cf:

Graph #1: Federal Receipts relative to Federal Expenditures
Mostly above the 1.0 level until 1970. After 1970, mostly less than one-for-one.

Even before 1970, a downtrend seems evident.

After 1990 the big uptick to about 2000 is the Clinton balancing act. A big up, a big down, and another big down by 2010.

Before 1992 or so, the path of the blue line seems a lot more jiggy in the late 1960s and '70s than in the 1950s and early '60s. Perhaps an effect of the Great Inflation.

Biggest spike of all occurred right around 1950, but it was short-lived. Can't say much about that one, as there is almost no data leading up to it.

What drove receipts down, relative to expenditures? Oh, it looks to be an eensie bit downhill till the mid-1960s, sure, but look what happened when the Fed started creating recessions to fight inflation: DOWN in the near-recession of 1967. DOWN in the recession of 1970, and no bounce-back. DOWN in the recession of 1974, sharply down. And DOWN in the double-dipper of 1980-82.

That sequence of events took receipts down from 100%-plus of spending, to 80%.

// Update:

Graph #2: Same concept, but using Federal Deficit numbers
Blue line, same as Graph #1. Red line shows the same ratio figured a different way. The patterns are very similar, the big drop during the Great Inflation is still there. But the numbers are not so high in the 1950s and early 1960s.

The blue line is based on "current" expenditures. The red line is based on "deficits".


Clonal said...

Back out the interest paid by Federal government from expenditure. I wonder how much it changes things.

The Arthurian said...

Blue line, same as Graph #1.

Red line, Federal outlays for interest backed out of expenditure. With a smaller expenditure, the red line is higher than the blue. But still downtrending and less than 1.0 with recessions. It isn't Federal interest cost that's the problem, so much as private interest cost.