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The Role of Government: The Federal Government and Fiscal Policy | EconEdLink
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INTRODUCTION

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How does the Federal Government spend the trillions of dollars it raises from taxes?  

TASK

In this lesson you will explain what the Federal Budget is and which branch of government is responsivle for preparation of the Federal Budget. You will also identify the major categories of government expenditures and major sources of government revenue. Finally, you will compare U.S. government expenditures with the spending of other industrialized nations.

PROCESS

Read the background information about the Federal Budget and Hutchins Center Explains: Federal Budget Basics. Then view the Federal Budget 2015 Infographic   and answer the following questions:

  1. In your own words write a brief paragraph which explains what the Federal Budget is. 
     
  2. What government offical is ultimately responsible for the preparation and submission of the Federal Budget?
     
  3. List government revenues by category beginning with the largest percentages (you will need to do calculate these figures).
     
  4. What is the estimated revenue for the federal government in 2015?
     
  5. List government expenditures by category beginning with the largest percentages.
     
  6. What types of expenditures are clasified as "Nondefense"?

Now refer to the OECD chart on general government spending as a share of GDP and answer the following questions:   

  1. What share of GDP did the U.S. allocate to government spending in 2013? 
     
  2. List government revenues by category beginning with the largest percentages.
     

EXTENSION ACTIVITY

Which budget issues are most important in the 2016 elections? Research this question and write an essay summarizing your findings.