Federal Economic and Social Programs, Fiscal 1956
A Compilation of Federal Budget Expenditures in Fiscal 1956 for Subsidies and Programs with Economic or Social Objectives
Government Finance Brief No. 2
The phenomenal growth of domestic economic and social expenditures by the Federal government in the past 25 years has inspired private and official concern in many quarters. Exactly what the government should and should not do in economic and social programs is a controversial subject now being pondered by such official bodies as the Second Hoover Commission and the Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, by Congress and by the American people themselves.
This brief study does not enter the controversy but attempts to provide a factual background for the decisions yet to be made on what the Federal government should do and what should be left to the states or to private initiative.
This review of the Federal budget for fiscal 1956 shows that one of every five dollars of proposed expenditures is for programs with economic or social objectives. These expenditures are presented in detail in six categories: aids to agriculture, to business, to labor, to veterans, to homeowners and tenants, and other programs providing general economic or social benefits. Not included are programs, such as defense or foreign aid, whose economic or social effects are merely incidental to their main purpose.