Can Taxes and Bonds Finance Government Spending?
Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 244
28 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 1998
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.
JEL Classification: H61, H63
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation