Government Spending Facts Two

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Undoubtedly one of the most pressing economic issues of the 1990s is concern about the level of government expenditures. The ongoing deficits at the federal level as well as the failure of most provinces to balance their budgets, together with the rising burden of public debt interest costs will continue to focus public attention on the activities of government. The purpose of this book is to provide a compilation and analysis of government spending both currently and historically. This information will better enable Canadians to assess government activities and to place both current developments and the claims of government in perspective.

Almost invariably, when a Minister of government is approached on the subject of the excessive expenditure of his or her government, the response is, Which expenditures should be cut? Give me some suggestions as to where we can cut expenditures. This is a fairly safe demand for politicians to make since most Canadians, including the politician, have very little information about how government currently spends the funds it absorbs from the private sector. This book and the ongoing project associated with it provide Canadians with comprehensive information about how the three levels of government spend taxpayers' money.

  • Chapter 1 presents expenditures of all levels of government on sixteen categories of expenditure, ranging from culture and recreation to the protection of persons and property.
  • Chapter 2 analyzes the distribution of total government spending by province without regard to the level of government involved.
  • Chapter 3 provides a compilation of the expenditures of the federal government by province and the opportunity to compare total federal expenditure in each of the provinces with the revenue that is raised in the province.
  • Chapter 4 discusses the ways in which provinces spend their tax dollars and shows how spending priorities differ by province.
  • Chapter 5 provides an indication of expenditures on public debt interest charges.
  • Chapter 6 presents a preliminary analysis of the extent to which Canadians at different income levels benefit from government expenditure.

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