With the adoption of a Federal budget system and the extension of the plan among the states, the public will have a better opportunity, at least, to know what use is being made of its funds, and upon what grounds charges of graft and inefficiency are made. The United States is no longer in the stage of youth, as described by Ambassador Bryce, with a superabundant revenue, so that it may commit fiscal wrongs without feeling the evil effects. The magnitude of the present indebtedness with its interest charge, together with the immense reconstruction expenses, is making the public more insistent upon proper fiscal procedure, and demands the use of every device that will make for honesty and efficiency.

The recent action of Congress and the rapid adoption of scientific budget and administrative systems by the states has been gratifying, and there is no reason to believe but that the systems will speedily be modified into more efficient conservators of public funds. The necessity that has driven some cities to seek better fiscal procedure with gratifying results will no doubt lead others to seek relief through the same channels. The many organizations that are exerting influences to secure betterment will be able to accomplish more after the successful start has been made, and there is little doubt that the adolescent stage in the growth of our fiscal administrative policies has been passed.

Additional Reading

Collins, The National Budget System and American Finance.

Willoughby, The Problems of a National Budget. Cleaveland, Municipal Administration and Accounting.