Accession Number : ADA292128

Title :   Budget Issues: Earmarking in the Federal Government.

Corporate Author : GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC

PDF Url : ADA292128

Report Date : JAN 1990

Pagination or Media Count : 21

Abstract : The former Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee asked that the General Accounting Office study the practice of earmarking federal revenues. As agreed with Committee staff, the objectives of GAO's study were to identify: (1) trends in earmarking and the features of earmarked revenues; (2) varying earmarking practices; and (3) factors for the Congress to consider when reviewing earmarking proposals. To identify trends in the use of earmarking, GAO examined annual governmental revenues at 3-year intervals from the end of fiscal year 1974 through fiscal year 1988. GAO used 1974 revenues as the starting point because that was the earliest year for which relevant data were available from OMB's budget tapes. Use of 3-year intervals permitted GAO to analyze major changes within the 14-year period and avoid temporary, year-to-year changes due to fluctuations in the economy. To identify the features of earmarked revenues, GAO examined these from four different perspectives: (1) their source (taxes or regulatory--"sovereign powers"-- revenues versus revenues from business-type operations); (2) the fund type (trust, special, general, etc.) to which they were applied; (3) the programs receiving the largest amounts; and (4) the agencies receiving the largest amounts. To identify varying earmarking practices, we (1) identified accounts where the earmarked amounts were cost-sharing payments from program participants and others where the earmarked amounts came from sources outside the program (not program participants) and (2) identified instances where the cost-sharing payments were earmarked for use by the programs and others where cost-sharing payments were deposited in Treasury's general fund. (KAR)

Descriptors :   *FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT, *FEDERAL BUDGETS, CONGRESS, UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, STATISTICAL DATA, CHARTS, TAXES.

Subject Categories : Economics and Cost Analysis
      Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE