Tuesday, March 31, 2009

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World War II US Defense Spending

DURING WORLD War II defense spending in the United States exploded from two percent of GDP in 1940 to a peak of 42 percent in 1945 and then back down to seven percent by 1947.
But the data series of “Federal Government Expenditure, by Function: 1902 to 1970” in the Census Bureau’s Historical Statistics of the United States: From Colonial Times to 1970 only tabulates federal spending every two years: 1940, 1942, 1944, etc.
Fortunately, the Executive Branch budget documents published by the US Government Printing Office at gpoaccess.gov include a set of historical tables, including Table 3.1 — Outlays by Superfunction and Function: 1940–2012. This table includes spending for national defense for each year of World War II. The problem is that the numbers in Table 3.1 don’t match up with the Census Bureau numbers in Historical Statistics.


Comparison of World War II Defense Spending
(millions of dollars)
Spending Item194019411942194319441945194619471948
Census Bureau Numbers for “National defense and international relations”
Total 1,59026,555 85,503 50,461 16,075
Military services only 1,567 22,633 74,670 42,677 10,642
Executive Branch budget numbers in Table 3.1
National Defense 1,660 6,435 25,658 66,699 79,143 82,965 42,681 12,808 9,105

You can see the problem. Not only does the Census Bureau not include the odd years, but the numbers don’t agree with the Executive Branch budget.
We chose to fill in the missing numbers in the the Census Bureau dataset by making them track the trajectory of the numbers in the Executive Branch dataset. Here are the results:


Construction of World War II Defense Spending Dataset
(millions of dollars)
Spending Item194019411942194319441945194619471948
Census Bureau numbers interpolated with numbers from Executive Branch dataset
Total expenditure 10,061 14,161 35,549 82,980 100,520 106,877 66,534 41,403 35,592
Total defense & intl 1,590 6,696 26,555 69,884 85,503 92,016 50,461 19,560 16,075
Military only 1,567 5,875 22,633 60,882 74,670 80,617 42,677 13,888 10,642
Executive Branch budget numbers in Table 3.1
Total federal outlays 9,468 13,653 35,137 78,555 91,304 92,712 55,232 34,496 29,764
National defense 1,660 6,435 25,658 66,699 79,143 82,965 42,681 12,808 9,105

We have interpolated values for national defense and for total federal spending in the odd years by translating the shape of the Executive Branch data into the Census Bureau dataset.






World War I US Defense Spending

DURING WORLD War I defense spending in the United States exploded from less than one percent of GDP in 1915 to a peak of 14 percent in 1919 and then back down to one percent by 1923.
But the data series of “Series Y 605-637. Federal Government Expenditure, by Function: 1902 to 1970” in the Census Bureau’s Historical Statistics of the United States: From Colonial Times to 1970 only tabulates federal spending for 1913 and 1922, completely missing out on the years of World War I.
But the Census Bureau does publish annual federal government expenditures in another table, “Series Y 457-465. Outlays of the Federal Government: 1789-1970 Series Y 466-471. Outlays of the Federal Government, by Major Function: 1900-1939.” The problem is that the numbers in the two Census Bureau tables don'’t match up.


Comparison of World War I Defense Spending
(millions of dollars)
Spending Item1913191419151916191719181919192019211922
Census Bureau Numbers from “Series Y 605-637. Federal Government Expenditure, by Function: 1902 to 1970”
Total Spending 970        3,763
Total national defense 250         875
Military services only 245         864
Interest 23         988
Census Bureau Numbers from “Series Y 457-465. Outlays of the Federal Government: 1789-1970.”
Series Y 466-471. Outlays of the Federal Government, by Major Function: 1900-1939.
Updated: 4/15/2015
Total Spending 715 725 746 713 1,954 12,66218,4486,357 5,0583,285
Major national security2932982973056027,11013,5483,9972,581929
International affairs and finance5 5 5 6 5914,7483,5004358310
Veterans services and benefits175173176171171235324332646686
Interest 23 23 23 23 25 198616 1,024 749669

You can see the problem. The entire war spending effort is missing from the data series that we are using. And in 1913 and 1922 they don'’t match up.
We chose to fill in the missing numbers by matching the spending numbers from “Outlays of the Federal Government, by Major Function: 1900-1939” to the numbers on the incomplete “Federal Government Expenditure by Function: 1902-1970.” then track the trajectory of the numbers in the Outlays dataset. Here are the results:


Construction of World War I Defense Spending Dataset
(millions of dollars)
Spending Item1913191419151916191719181919192019211922
Numbers interpolated from Outlay table shown in italic. Updated: 4/15/2015
Total expenditure 970 1,005 1,051 1,042 2,308 13,04118,8526,785 5,5113,763
Total defense and intl 250 2532502581,43811,80116,9894,3722,602875
Military only 245 2482452515467,05313,4893,9362,518864
Interest 23 23 22 22 24 1966141,022996 988

We have interpolated values for national defense and for total federal spending by applying the entire Outlays data items to the Expenditures table by adjusting all numbers so that they match the numbers in the Expenditure table for 1913 and 1922.

UPDATED: 4/15/2015

All About Intergovernmental Transfers

Federal spending numbers at usgovernmentspending.com come from the OMB budget. They include direct spending on programs and also grants to states and local governments. State and local spending numbers come from the US Census Bureau. They are "direct spending" net of monies transferred to other governments.

Monies transferred to other governments are called intergovernmental transfers. To avoid double-counting at usgovernmentspending.com we show a “Gov. Xfer” column. It represents intergovernmental transfers from the federal government to the states and local governments. For instance, Medicaid (included under Health Care) is a joint federal-state program in which the federal government reimburses state governments for 50 percent or more of their expenses. The federal government's outlay for Medicaid includes monies directly spent by the federal government and monies sent to the states as grants and then spent by the states on Medicaid.

You can see that Health Care has the biggest “Gov. Xfer” number.

The intergovernmental transfer numbers used in the Numbers table are all Census Bureau “B” codes, as described in Census Bureau's Government Finance & Employment Classification Manual. For example, Census Bureau code “B01” is an intergovernmental transfer for “Air Transportation (Airports)”. The numbers are rolled up to provide the totals you can see at the top level. However, we have not used the Census Bureau numbers to report the intergovernmental transfers. Instead we have used OMB's Historical Table 12.3—Total Outlays for Grants to State and Local Governments, by Function, Agency, and Program.

If you drill down two levels (using the [+] controls) you will uncover the specific Census Bureau “B” spending codes used to compute the “rolled-up” intergovernmental transfer numbers. Each code is a link to the Census Bureau page that lists codes.

In summary, usgovernmentspending.com shows federal spending amounts as published by OMB that include monies transferred to other governments, but shows state and local spending as "direct spending" net of transfers to other governments as published by the US Census Bureau. Total spending is calculated as the sum of OMB federal spending plus Census Bureau state and local spending less "intergovernmental transfers" as published by the US Census Bureau.

Of course, intergovernmental transfers affect the revenue side as well as the spending side. You can see intergovernmental transfers on the revenue details page here. Intergovernmental Transfers equal (Total Revenue less Total Direct Revenue) at the state and local level.

UPDATED 10/19/16

Federal Spending at the Agency Code Level

IF YOU DRILL down below the federal subfunction level you can see federal spending at the agency code level. This spending information is obtained from Outlays, an Excel spreadsheet (4.5MB) that contains federal spending numbers classified by department, bureau, and agency code for FY 1962 through FY 2008. There are about 4,000 line items at the agency code level. The file can be downloaded from Budget of the United States Government: Public Budget Database Fiscal Year 2008 in xls, csv, or zip format. Only spending line items in excess of $0.05 billion are displayed atusgovernmentspending.com.

Table of Data Sources by Year

THE FOLLOWING table specifies the source of government spending and revenue data for each range of years for which usgovernmentspending.com provides government spending data and usgovernmentrevenue.com provides government revenue data.

See below the table for additional information on sources.

UPDATED: 12/28/2016

Sources of Spending and Revenue Datafor usgovernmentspending.com
YearFederal Spending and Revenue Intergovernmental Transfer State Spending and Revenue Local Spending and Revenue
2021 thru 2016budgeted
US Budget Historical Tables FY 2017 (pdf) Table 2.1 (xls) Table 2.4 (xls) Table 2.5 (xls) Table 3.2 (xls) Table 5.1 (xls) Table 7.1 (xls) Table 10.1 (xls) Table 12.3 (xls)
guesstimated
by usgovernmentspending.com
2015
and
2015
actual
from Historical Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 5.1, 7.1, 10.1 in most recent federal budget

guesstimated
by usgovernmentspending.com
2013
thru 1992
actual

from Historical Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 5.1, 7.1, 10.1 in most recent federal budget

actual
US Census Bureau State and Local Government Finances:
2013-14 2012-13 2011-12 2010-11 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07 2005-06 2004-05 2003-04 2002-03 2001-02
etc.
1991 thru 1986actual

from Historical Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 5.1, 7.1, 10.1 in most recent federal budget

budgeted
from Historical Tables in relevant federal budgets.  See here for pre-FY96 budgets
actual
US Census Bureau Statistical Abstract of the United States
1993, Table: 474
etc.
1985 thru 1971actual
from Historical Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 5.1, 7.1, 10.1 in most recent federal budget
actual
US Census Bureau Statistical Abstract of the United States
1993, Table: 474
etc.
1970 thru 1962actual
from Historical Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 5.1, 7.1, 10.1 in most recent federal budget
actual
US Census Bureau Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970
1961 thru 1952 actual
US Census Bureau Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970
1951 thru 1902 actual; and interpolated
US Census Bureau Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970
See also: World War II Spending and: World War I Spending
1901 thru 1891 actual
US Census Bureau Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970
interpolated
US Census Bureau Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970
and
Historical Statistics of the United States: 1789 - 1945

1890
actual
US Census Bureau Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970
actual
Historical Statistics of the United States: 1789 - 1945
1889 thru 1820 actual
US Census Bureau Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970
interpolatedMichael Mann, The Sources of Social Power, Volume 2, p.363
1829 thru 1792 actual
US Census Bureau Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970
none

Additional Sources

You can access the budgeted federal data prior to FY96 used in usfederalbudget.us here:
Budget federal data down to the "account level" is extracted from the Outlays and the Budget Authority files in the Public Budget Database in each federal budget.

Federal data prior to 1962 is extracted from “Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970.” You can download the relevant extracts in a pdf file here or from the Federal Reserve Archive here.

State and local data from 1902 to 1970 is extracted from the US Census Bureau’s “Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970.” You can download the relevant extracts in a pdf file here.

State and local data for 1890 is extracted from the US Census Bureau’s “Historical Statistics of the United States, 1789 - 1945.” You can download the relevant extracts in a pdf file here.

State and local data for 1891-1901 is interpolated from the 1902 Census Bureau data and the 1890 Census Bureau data.

State and local data for 1830-1889 is interpolated from decadal estimates in Michael Mann, The Sources of Social Power, Volume 2, page 363.

See also Federal Budget Data Sources.

Monday, March 30, 2009

How We Got the Data for usgovernmentspending.com

THE government spending tables on this site aggregate all government spending in the United States of America by fiscal year organized by government function.
Most of the data is actual government spending as reported by the Office of Management and Budget or the United States Census Bureau. But there is also interpolated data for the years not covered by the data sources. In addition, we have included budgeted and estimated spending as well. We have used color and italics to tell you the source of each item of spending.
Here is the key:
  • Actual reported government spending is shown in blue text
  • Interpolated data filling in for missing years in the source records is shown in blue italic text
  • Budgeted spending is shown in normal text
  • Estimated spending is shown in italic text
  • “Guesstimated” spending, i.e. future state and local spending projected by usgovernmentspending.com, is shown in red italic text
You can use controls on the table to change the year or to drill down to view more detailed spending information.

Data Sources

The government spending information is obtained from several sources of data.

Federal spending since 1962 is obtained from a spreadsheet file Table 3.2 - Outlays by Function and Subfunction in Budget of the United States Government published by the Executive Office of the President of the United States. It contains actual historical federal government spending from 1962 to the fiscal year ending before the current budget, and budgeted and estimated spending the current fiscal year and out five years.

Federal revenue since 1962 is obtained from spreadsheet files Table 2.1 - Receipts by Source: 1934–2016,
Table 2.4 - Composition of Social Insurance and Retirement Receipts and of Excise Taxes: 1940–2016, and Table 2.5 - Composition of “Other Receipts”: 1940–2016.

State and local government spending from 1992 is obtained from tables of state and local government spending published annually by the United States Census Bureau. For instance, the data for fiscal year 2004 is available as a zip file: State by Level of Government - Comma Delimited.

State and local government spending from 1962 to 1991 is obtained from tables of state and local government spending in the Statistical Abstract of the United States published by the United States Census Bureau.

Federal, state, and local government spending prior to 1962 is obtained from “Series Y 605-637. Federal Government Expenditure, by Function: 1902 to 1970” and from “Series Y 682-709. State and Local Government Expenditure, by Function: 1902 to 1970.” These are tables included in Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970 published by the United States Census Bureau.

This information is given in tabular form in Government Spending Data: Sources by Year.

Guesstimated Spending

The federal government provides budgetary data for the current year and the next year. It also provides estimated budgetary data for the following four years.
But the Census Bureau data on state and local spending is historical data only. It does not include any information on state and local budgets or on state and local government spending projections.
So at usgovernmentspending.com we have massaged the recent historical data to come up with a “guesstimate” of future state and local spending.
The method used is to take the average change in spending for the last four years of historical data and estimate the percentage change in spending that this represents, limiting the percentage change to plus 20 percent and zero. We then apply that percentage for each year after the last year in the Census Bureau data.
You will notice that this method has its problems. The line “All Other Spending” for states goes negative in the out years, because the rate of increase in individual programs presently exceeds the rate of increase in overall spending. That is what you call a “budget crisis.”

Interpolated Spending

There is published data available from government sources for all years from 1952 to the present. Between 1932 and 1950 the data in “Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970” is tabulated only for even numbered years. Before 1932 there is data given only for 1902, 1913, 1922, and 1927. For the missing years we have interpolated data from the information given in the published years.