Can Taxes and Bonds Finance Government Spending?
University of Missouri at Kansas City - Economics
Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 244
This paper investigates the commonly held belief that government spending is normally financed through a combination of taxes and bond sales. The argument is a technical one and requires a detailed analysis of reserve accounting at the central bank. After carefully considering the complexities of reserve accounting, it is argued that the proceeds from taxation and bond sales are technically incapable of financing government spending and that modern governments actually finance all of their spending through the direct creation of high-powered money. The analysis carries significant implications for fiscal as well as monetary policy.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 28
JEL Classification: H61, H63
Date posted: August 14, 1998