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The stealth budget: unfunded liabilities of the federal government

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  • Roy H. Webb

Abstract

The federal budget is incomplete. Action have been taken that will require spending in the future; provision for that spending does not, however, appear in the budget accounts. As a result, stated federal spending does not reveal the total resource demands placed on the private economy and stated federal debt does not reveal the full burden that taxpayers will face in the future. The amounts involved are not trivial. Several programs had unfunded liabilities in 1989 in excess of $4 trillion, whereas the conventionally stated gross federal debt at that time was less than $3 trillion.

Suggested Citation

  • Roy H. Webb, 1991. "The stealth budget: unfunded liabilities of the federal government," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, vol. 77(May), pages 23-33.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrer:y:1991:i:may:p:23-33:n:v.77no.3
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    File URL: https://fraser.stlouisfed.org/files/docs/publications/frbrichreview/rev_frbrich199105.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. R. Dan Brumbaugh, JR. & Andrew S. Carron & Robert E. Litan, 1989. "Cleaning Up the Depository Institutions Mess," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 243-296.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gerald P. Dwyer & Rik Hafer, 1998. "The federal government's budget surplus: Cause for celebration?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, vol. 83(Q 3), pages 42-51.
    2. Wenli Li, 1998. "Government loan, guarantee, and grant programs: an evaluation," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 25-52.

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    Keywords

    Budget; Expenditures; Public;
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