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Chapter 15. Understanding Fiscal Policy. Fiscal Policy Tool for economic growth Federal Government makes fiscal policy decisions Federal Budget Fiscal Year Takes 18 months to prepare. Four Basic Steps In The Federal Budget Process. Agencies write spending proposals OMB

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Understanding fiscal policy
Understanding Fiscal Policy

  • Fiscal Policy

    • Tool for economic growth

    • Federal Government makes fiscal policy decisions

  • Federal Budget

  • Fiscal Year

    • Takes 18 months to prepare

Four basic steps in the federal budget process
Four Basic Steps In The Federal Budget Process

  • Agencies write spending proposals

    • OMB

  • Executive Branch creates a budget

  • Congress debates and compromies

    • CBO

    • Appropriations bills

  • The White house approves

Fiscal policies
Fiscal Policies

  • Expansionary Policy

    • Increase economic output

    • Chain of event

      • Increase spending

      • Tax cuts

  • Contractionary Policy

    • Decrease economic output

    • Chain of events

      • Decrease spending

      • Increase taxes

Limits of fiscal policy
Limits of Fiscal Policy

  • Difficulty of changing spending levels

  • Predicting the future

  • Delayed results

  • Political pressures

  • Coordinating fiscal policy

Classical economics
Classical Economics

  • A school of thought based on the idea that free market regulated themselves.

  • In a free market, people act in their own self interest, causing price to rise fall so that supply and demand will return

  • In 1929 the great depression challenged this theory.

  • Prices fell over several years so demand should have increased enough to simulate production as consumers took advantage of low prices, instead demand also fell as people loss their jobs and bank failures wiped out their savings.

  • The Great Depression highlighted a problem which classical economies: it did not address how long it would take for the market to return to equilibrium.

Keynesian economics
Keynesian Economics

  • British economist John Maynard Keynes developed a new theory of economics to explain the depression.

  • Keynes presented his ideas in 1936 in a book called The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money.

A broader view
A Broader View

  • Productive Capacity: The maximum output in an economy can sustain over a period of time without increasing inflation.

  • Keynesian attempted to answer a difficult question posed by The Great Depression: why does actual production in the economy sometimes fall far short of its productive capacity.

  • Demand-Side Economics: a school of thought based on the idea that demand for good drives the economy

A new role for government
A New Role for Government

  • Keynes thought that the spender should be the federal government.

  • In early government of 1930’s only the government could in effect make up in private spending by buying goods and services on its own.

  • Keynesian Economics: A school of thought that uses demand side of theory as the bias for encouraging government action to help the economy.

Avoiding Recession

  • The government can respond by increasing its own spending until spending by private sectors return to a higher level

    Controlling Inflation

  • Keynes also argued that government could use a contractionary fiscal policy to prevent inflation or reduce its severity taxes or by reducing its spending. Both of these actions decreasing overall demand.

    The Multiplier Effect

  • The idea that every one dollar changed in fiscal policy creates a change greater than one dollar in the nation income.

Productive capacity
Productive Capacity

In a recession or depression,

business and consumers

do not demand as much as

the economy can produce

Keynes argued that

government spending can

The economy up to its

Productive capacity.

Supply side economics
Supply-Side Economics

  • A school of thought based on the idea that the supply of goods drives the economy.

Balancing the budget
Balancing the budget

  • The basic tool of fiscal policy is the federal budget.

  • Made up of 2 parts: Revenue & Expenditures

  • Federal budget is never balanced.

    • Budget Surplus- Revenue exceeds expenditures

    • Budget Deficit- Expenditures exceeds revenue

  • 2 ways to respond to deficit.

    • Create money – leads to inflation

    • Borrow money – increases National Debt

W ays to respond to deficit
Ways to respond to deficit.

  • Create money – leads to inflation

  • Borrow money – increases National Debt

    • Treasury bills

    • Treasury notes

    • Treasury bonds

  • Borrowing allows the government to create and provide more public goods and services.

National debt
National debt

  • Total amount of money the federal government owes to bond holders.

  • Owed to investors who hold treasury bonds, bills, and notes.

  • Deficit v debt

    • Deficit- amount borrowed

    • Debt- sum of government borrowings, each deficit adds to debt.

Problems with national debt
Problems with National Debt

  • Reduces the funds available for businesses to invest.

    • Crowding effect- Gov. offers bonds at high interest rates to attract investors, less money for private businesses to borrow.

  • Servicing the debt- Paying interest to bondholders.

  • Foreign ownership of the National Debt

    • China, Japan, UK

Controlling the deficit
Controlling the deficit

  • Gram-Rudman-Hollings Act- create automatic across the board cuts in federal expenditures, if the deficit exceeded a certain amount.

  • 1990 Budget Enforcement Act- created a pay-as-you-go (PAYGO). PAYGO required congress to raise enough revenue to cover increases in direct spending that would otherwise contribute to the deficit.


  • What would happen to aggregate demand on a graph when contractionary policy is applied?

  • What does OMB stand for & responsible for?

  • What is productive capacity?

  • Who was the British economist who developed a new theory of economics to explain the Depression?

  • Why is it important to balance the budget?

  • What are the problems with the national debt?