One possible explanation for the difficulty in controlling the budget is that a major component of spending —tax expenditures—receives privileged status. It is treated as tax cuts rather than spending. This paper explores the implications of that classification and illustrates how it can lead to higher taxes, larger government, and an inefficient mix of spending (too many tax expenditures). The paper then analyzes alternative budgeting approaches that would explicitly incorporate and measure tax expenditures. It concludes by analyzing ways to control tax expenditures (and other spending) and the special challenges presented by tax expenditures.
Published as Leonard E. Burman, Marvin Phaup. "Tax Expenditures, the Size and Efficiency of Government, and Implications for Budget Reform," in Jeffrey Brown, editor, "Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 26" University of Chicago Press (2012)
Downloads: (external link) http://www.nber.org/papers/w17268.pdf (application/pdf)
Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.
Related works: This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.