13. Revenue Has Received More Study than Expenditures

Only recently do we find fiscal students turning serious attention to the problems of public expenditure. Comparatively little literature can be found dealing with this phase of Public Finance, while volumes have been written on methods for securing revenue. The reason for this condition is not far to seek. The exaction of revenue has been considered an evil to be minimized as much as possible, and one which comes much nearer home to the general public than does the expenditure of funds once secured. We have had, then, numerous studies in tax reform, with little thought as to needed changes in the way funds have been spent. It is impossible, however, to segregate the two fields. If funds are squandered and wasted, the best possible revenue system cannot give satisfactory results. The increasing tax burden has led the public to inquire what is to be given in return for its sacrifice of funds. This growing burden has led to a demand for reform in revenue laws. A further recent demand is that the administration of public funds be handled in an efficient manner. These awakenings of the public account for the modern interest in other than the revenue phase of Public Finance. Henceforth, no doubt, a much larger proportion of our fiscal literature will deal with the expenditure and the administration of public funds.