1 Graphs showing Selected US Price Level and Government and Economy Data, 1774 to National government budget outlays in billions of constant (212) dollars and as a percent of economy 2. Total government spending (national, state, and local) 1948 to 211, as percent of economy 3. US price levels 1774 to 212, with 212 = 1 4. US price levels 1774 to 212 in constant 212 dollars, logarithmic scale to highlight rate of change 5. US price levels 195 to 212, with 212 = 1 6. Yearly inflation or deflation rate (CPI-U) 1774 to 212, in percent (data prior to 1913 are economic historian estimates) 7. Yearly inflation or deflation rate (CPI-U) 1915 to 212, in percent 8. US gross domestic product (GDP) and national government revenues in inflation-adjusted (212) dollars and GDP percent, US estimated gross domestic product (GDP) in current and inflation-adjusted dollars and GDP per capita in constant (212) dollars, 1792 to Trends in national debt held by the public 1948 to 212 in current and constant dollars and as percent of GDP 11. Change in inflation-adjusted national debt held by the public, by presidential term, 1948 to Minimum wage in current and constant (212) dollars, 1938-estimated 213, including nominal minimum wage required to equal the peak (1968) inflation-adjusted minimum wage 13. National defense outlays 1948 to 212 in current and constant (212) dollars and as percent of GDP 14. Change in inflation-adjusted national defense spending by presidential term, 1948 to 212, in percent As noted below, price level measures have changed over time, so trends should be seen as only approximations. Data for years prior to 1913 (for CPI) and prior to 1929 (for gross domestic product) are based on estimates by economic historians, from Peter H. Lindert and Richard Sutch, Consumer price indexes, for all items: Table Cc1-2 and other tables in Historical Statistics of the United States, Earliest Times to the Present: Millennial Edition, edited by Susan B. Carter, Scott Sigmund Gartner, Michael R. Haines, Alan L. Olmstead, Richard Sutch, and Gavin Wright (New York: Cambridge University Press, 26). Calculations starting 1913 use the CPI-U as the base, from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly and annual CPI data are available at the BLS web site: (CPI-U = all urban consumers). Population data and estimates are from the Census Bureau. Gross domestic product (GDP) numbers are from the Bureau of Economic Affairs (BEA) for 1929 to the present. For earlier years, GDP estimates are from the Historical Statistics source listed above and also from the Economic History net, at For additional CPI information, see the BLS CPI page, and also the online inflation conversion factor site, below. My inflation conversion factor web page is available at Revised conversion factors using final 212 and estimated 213 data will be posted in late February or March 213, after the Office of Management and Budget and Congressional Budget Office publish their inflation estimates for 213 and later years. Robert Sahr, Political Science Department, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon Home page: On sabbatical at the School of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University, Washington, DC 252; telephone: (22) ; fax: (22) sumprice_
2 Percent of Economy (GDP) Billions of 212 Dollarss Selected US Price Level and Government and Economy Data, 1774 to 212, page National Government Budget Outlays in Billions of Constant (212) Dollars and as Percent of Economy, and Revenues and Surplus or Deficit as Percent of Economy, 1952 to 212 Left Scale 4,5 4, 3,5 3, 15 2,5 1 5 Right Scale 2, 1,5 1, 5-5 Left Scale Read this as follows: In budget year 2, outlays were 18.4 percent of the economy, -5-1 receipts were 2.8 percent, and the resulting surplus was 2.4 percent of the economy; outlays (right scale) were $2,95 billion (26$) -1, (this precision will not be evident -15 from the chart with the scale used) -1, Surplus or deficit as % GDP Outlays as % GDP Receipts as % GDP Outlays Billions of 212 Dollars (Right Scale) Source of current-dollar and percent of GDP data: Budget of the United States 213 Historical Tables, Table 1.1 and CBO, February 213 Update; Inflation-adjustment with CPI-U-X1, which applies the post-1982 CPI to the entire period starting 195 This graph shows the national government budget in billions and trillions of dollars and also as percent of the economy (that is, in fingers-and-toes sized numbers), which portray changes over time in ways much easier to comprehend than billions and trillions.
3 Selected US Price Level and Government and Economy Data, 1774 to 212, page 3 US Total Government Spending (National, State, and Local) 1948 to 211, as Percent of Economy (Gross Domestic Product [GDP]) Total Government Expenditures Total National Government Outlays State and Local Government Expenditures From Own Sources Source of Data: Budget of the United States 213 Historical Tables, Table 15.3
4 Selected US Price Level and Government and Economy Data, 1774 to 212, page 4 1 US Price Levels 1774 to 212, with 212 = Washington inaugurated 1789 Revolutionary War War of Civil War World War I World War II Vietnam War Conversion factors for years before 1913 are re-based from data from the Historical Statistics of the United States Millennial Edition (Cambridge University Press, 26). Calculation starting 1913 uses the CPI-U as the base, from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly and annual CPI data are available at the BLS web site: (CPI-U = all urban consumers). Caution: Inflation measures have changed over time, so trends should be seen as only approximations, especially prior to 1913.
5 Selected US Price Level and Government and Economy Data, 1774 to 212, page 5 Price Levels in Constant 212 Dollars, Logarithmic Scale 1. Note: Logarithmic scale shows rate of change, with steeper slope showing higher rates of inflation Conversion factors for years before 1913 are re-based from data from the Historical Statistics of the United States Millennial Edition (Cambridge University Press, 26). Calculation starting 1913 uses the CPI-U as the base, from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly and annual CPI data are available at the BLS web site: (CPI-U = all urban consumers).
6 Selected US Price Level and Government and Economy Data, 1774 to 212, page 6 11 US Price Levels 195 to 212, with 212 = Oil-price-stimulated price changes 2 1 Korean War Vietnam War Monthly and annual CPI data are available at the BLS web site: (CPI-U = all urban consumers).
7 Selected US Price Level and Government and Economy Data, 1774 to 212, page 7 Yearly Inflation or Deflation Rate (CPI-U) 1774 to 212, in Percent Calculation uses the CPI-U as the base, from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly and annual CPI data are available at the BLS web site: (CPI-U = all urban consumers).
8 Selected US Price Level and Government and Economy Data, 1774 to 212, page 8 Yearly Inflation or Deflation Rate (CPI-U) 1915 to 212, in Percent Calculation uses the CPI-U as the base, from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly and annual CPI data are available at the BLS web site: (CPI-U = all urban consumers).
9 Billions of inflation-adjusted (211) dollars Percent of Gross Domestic Product Selected US Price Level and Government and Economy Data, 1774 to 212, page 9 25, US Total Estimated GDP and National Government Revenues (billions 212 dollars) and National Government Revenues as Percent of GDP The highest value shown on this axis is $3 billion. 2, 2 15, 15 1, 1 5, Gross Domestic Product (billions 212 $) National Government Revenues % GDP National Government Revenues (212 $ billions)
10 GDP in Billions of Dollars GDP Per Capita in Dollars Selected US Price Level and Government and Economy Data, 1774 to 212, page 1 US Gross Domestic Product in Current and Inflation-Adjusted Dollars and GDP per capita in Constant (212) Dollars, 1789 to 212 $17, $68, $16, $64, $15, $14, $13, The highest value shown on this axis is $15 trillion. Caution: GDP data prior to 1929 are estimates only. Population estimates are from the Census Bureau. $6, $56, $52, $12, $48, $11, $44, $1, $4, $9, $36, $8, $32, $7, $28, $6, $24, $5, $4, $3, $2, Right Scale Left Scale $2, $16, $12, $8, $1, $4, $ $ Nominal GDP (billions of dollars) Real GDP (billions of 212 dollars) Real GDP Per Capita (212 dollars) Nominal dollar data from Economic History net, (for 1789 to 1928) and Bureau of Economic Analysis, (for 1929 to 212)
11 Billions of Dollars Percent of GDP Selected US Price Level and Government and Economy Data, 1774 to 212, page 11 National Debt Held by the Public in Billions of Current and Constant (212) Dollars and as Percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 194 to , Highest value shown = $18 trillion ($18, billion) 12 1, 8, Right Scale Debt "owned by the public" excludes that part of the debt owned by US government agencies; most economists consider it a better measure than "gross national debt" 1 8 6, 6 4, 4 2, Left Scale Debt held by the public (billions 212$) Debt held by the public (billions) Total debt held by public (% GDP) From and calculated from Budget of the United States 213 Historical Tables, Table 7.1;updated from CBO, February 213.
12 Selected US Price Level and Government and Economy Data, 1774 to 212, page 12 Percent Change in Inflation-adjusted Total Debt Owned by the Public by Presidential Term, (Obama three budget years only) Debt "owned by the public" excludes that part of the debt owned by US government agencies; most economists consider it a better measure than "gross national debt" This shows change in 4-year terms starting with the year for which a president controls the budget, e.g., after budget year 21 (that is, budget years 22 and later) for President George W. Bush, after budget year 1993 (that is budget years 1994 and later) for President Clinton Truman Ike I Ike II JFK- Johnson Johnson Nixon Nixon- Ford Carter Reagan I Reagan II GHW Bush Clinton I Clinton II GW Bush I GW Bush II Obama I [3 years] Source of current-dollar data: Budget of the United States 213, Historical Tables, Table 7.1; updated from CBO February 213
13 Selected US Price Level and Government and Economy Data, 1774 to 212, page 13 1,2 National Defense Total Outlays in Billions of Current and Constant (21) Dollars, 194 to estimated 212 1, 1, National defense total (billions) National defense total in constant dollars (212 billions) Source of current-dollar data: Budget of the United States 212 Historical Tables, Table 3.1; because CPI-U-X1 is not available until 195, this chart uses CPI-U to adjust for inflation
14 Selected US Price Level and Government and Economy Data, 1774 to 212, page 14 Change in Inflation-adjusted National Defense Outlays by Presidential Term, 1952 to 212, in Percent 5 4 Democrats solid bars; Republicans lined bars Ike I Ike II JFK-LBJ Johnson Nixon Nixon-Ford Carter Reagan I Reagan II GHW Bush Clinton I Clinton II GW Bush I GW Bush II Obama I Source of current-dollar data: Budget 213 Historical Tables, Table 3.1 Note: Inflation adjustment with CPI-U-X1, which applies the post-1982 CPI measure to the entire period
15 Selected US Price Level and Government and Economy Data, 1774 to 212, page 15 $12. $11. $1. Minimum Wage in Current and Constant (212) Dollars, 1938 through estimated 213 Highest: $1.53 (1968) Nominal minimum wage required to equal 1968 peak real minimum wage (CPI-U) $9. $8. $7. $6. $5. $4. $4.1 $3. $2. $1. Lowest: $3.74 (1948) The CPI-U-X1 data series applies the post CPI to the entire period, beginning 195 $ Current Dollars Nominal minimum wage required to match 1968 peak real minimum wage (CPI-U) Constant (212) Dollars Nominal minimum wage required to match 1968 peak real minimum wage (CPI-U-X1)
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