The economic impact is equally or more dramatic than the surpluses per capita. It includes increased earnings, reductions in taxes, tremendous job creation, wealth creation, increases the standard of living of everyone and more.

When governments lower taxes, government revenues increase.

You say how can that be? Governments raise taxes to increase revenues. Then lowering taxes should decrease revenues, right? WRONG!

Here is a story of what was discovered in 1815 in England after England vanquished Napoleon and ended up with a debt burden equal to 200% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This historical story was presented in Barron's issue of December 4, 2000 and was written by Stephen W. Shipman, portfolio manager and director of research for George D. Burman & Associates in Los Angeles.

After the French wars with the return of the British troops and subsequent demilitarization, a surplus emerged. Thus began the modern era's first great debate over tax cuts and debt reduction.

After much debate and wrangling among the British politicians, along the same lines as we see today, it was decided to return the surpluses to the people by reducing the high taxes necessary to sustain the war effort instead of paying down the debt. But the reduction was not only in the income tax but in many taxes that were imposed on the total population.

The British economy boomed and revenues barely receded. They had enough to make the payments on the debt. So they decided to try lowering taxes again and again revenues increased because of the explosive economic boom.

The result was tax reductions of surpluses rather than paying down the debt provided more benefits than just paying down the debt with the surpluses, because the government received more revenue because of the increased economic activity. Mr. Shipman stated:

"Clearly all evidence suggest and the record demonstrates that Great Britain's phenomenal economic expansion following the French Wars derived from a policy mix that favored top-line production over balance-sheet austerity. The people of Britain, its laborers and entrepreneurs alike, responded by creating so much wealth that the government never again really worried about its debt burden."

Mr. Shipman goes on to state that it is "...ludicrous to oblige American taxpayers to ..." pay off the debt when the size of the debt compared to the British debt at the time is so small.

Hence, the statement that when governments lower taxes, the governments revenues increase was born and proven in the real world starting in 1815.

In addition, this effect/results has been immortalized by Dr. Arthur Laffer who created the Laffer Curve theory during the Reagan administration. Contrary to what you may have been told, the application of this principle worked. Taxes were reduced and tax revenues increased. The story being told is that government deficits occurred because of the tax reductions. This is a lie. Government deficits were created because Congress spent the increase in tax revenues and a great deal more.

However, we shall in this section and in other parts of this site prove with specific easy-to-understand economic principles how the above statement becomes true. But even better than reducing taxes is to provide cash refunds of surpluses equally to each person.

The economic impact is equally or more dramatic than the actual surpluses per capita. It includes increased earnings, reductions in taxes, tremendous job creation and more.

Remember what Alan Greenspan, Chairmen of the Federal Reserve, said in his testimony to the Senate Humphrey-Hawkins Committee in late July 1999, “...My experience is that private rates of return are significant higher than the governments’ rates of return.

This economic impact analysis will prove mathematically what was explained above. However, our approach to refunding the potential surpluses is not the supply-side (trickle-down) approach, but what we call the “trickle-up” approach.

We used Economic Output Multipliers (EOM), Economic Earnings Multipliers (EEM), Government Revenue Rate (GRR), Government Investment Ratio (GRI), and Employment Ratios (ER). Actually these items can be found in any elementary economics textbook and are really very simple principles. These principles are fully explained below and shown in the Section on our review of selected CAFRs.


Investing is spending or setting aside money for future financial gain. For an individual, investment might include the purchase of financial assets, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or life insurance. In government accounting investments are "assets" such as "Cash and Investments", not revenues or expenditures. As will be shown below these assets are set aside for the future income to be received from the investments and not needed for current operations of the government.

Therefore, by accounting definition the cash and net investments in the balance sheet of governments are mostly excess funds and potential surpluses not currently needed to carry out the functions of the government.

The Economic Impact Analysis

These are economic principles which can be found in almost any elementary economics textbook.

Economic Output Multiplier (EOM)

"Basic to all theories of business-cycle fluctuations and their causes is the relationship between investment and consumption. New investments have what is called a multiplier effect: that is, investment money paid to wage earners and suppliers becomes income to them and then, in turn, becomes income to others as the wage earners or suppliers spend most of their earnings. An expanding ripple effect is thus set into motion.

Similarly, an increasing level of income spent by consumers has an accelerating influence on investment. Higher demand creates greater incentive to increase investment in production, in order to meet that demand..." ("Business Cycle," Encarta® 1998 Encyclopedia © 1993-1997)

Another explanation: The EOM estimates the change in output for a given change in demand, i.e., a certain demand (returning surpluses) increases the output of all industries in the government's economic area after all "rounds" of spending are totaled.

After researching EOM data from the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), and other sources, it was decided that an EOM of 2.00 is about the average that can be used for all governments.

This means that for every $1 of surpluses returned to the people, the economy expands by a certain number of dollars. For example if the economic multiplier is 2.0:1, this means that for every $1 returned to the people in a certain taxing jurisdiction, the economy in that jurisdiction will increase by $2.00.

Economic Earnings Multiplier (EEM)

Increased demand (surpluses) increases labor demand in all industries, resulting in increased wages paid for everyone in the government's economic area.

This is the total dollar change in earnings of households that results from a $1 change in output delivered to final demand.

In a recent Wall Street Journal article the impact of increasing or lowering taxes (returning surpluses) was shown when it stated, "Richard Vedder, an Ohio University economist, estimates that on average a 1% increase in state and local taxes lowers personal income by 3.5%." Conversely, the returning of surpluses, more than just a lowering of taxes, will increase personal income more than the 3.5%.

Again, research indicated, including considering the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data on its RIMS II economic model, that an EEM of .50 should be used.

Government Revenue Rate (GRR)

This is the amount of revenue collected by a government per dollar of economic activity in the government's area of jurisdiction. This will provide the percent of return the government is receiving per dollar of economic activity.

We use a GRR of 10.00% for States and 8.00% for local governments. This means for every $1 of additional economic activity a State government receives 10.00 cents and a local government receives 8.00 cents in revenue. The Federal government receives 20 cents on each $1 of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Government Rate of Return on Investments (GRI)

This is the interest rate that the government receives on its investments excluding the return on retirement/pension plans investments which can vary considerably because of the type of investment.

The current GRI for the average government is between 5-6%. Most of the potential surpluses are in the government funds that receive this GRI. However, the retirement funds, universities, and a few smaller funds/entities are allowed to use the "prudent person rule". This means they can invest in stocks, bonds, foreign currencies, foreign stock, etc., which the normal government funds cannot. However, usually a much smaller amount of the potential surpluses are from excesses in these funds/activities.

Increase in Tax Revenues

As has been stated above returning potential surpluses increases the economic activity in the government's economy . With the government receiving 10.00 or 8.00 cents on every $1 of economic activity, the government will receive considerably more (from about 10% to about 14%) above what the government would receive if the surpluses were invested by the government (GRI). For the Federal government it is pure profit of about 40 cents or 40%.

Reduction in Taxes

Because of the increased revenues the government can reduce future taxes.

In addition, the activities/taxes/etc. that created the surpluses in the first place could be changed so that surpluses could not build again. This in itself will reduce taxes even further.

Employment Multiplier (EM)

This is the job creation amount. It is the amount of additional economic activity necessary to create one additional job. Although research disclosed that the range was between $45,000 and $75,000, we decided to use $100,000 as the amount needed to create one additional job.

Summary of Economic Impact Data

Here is a summary of what the above economic impact indicators mean.

1.   Economic Output Multiplier (EOM)
For every $1 of refund to the people the economy grows by $2.
2.   Economic Earnings Multiplier (EEM)
For every $1 of refund the wages increase by $.50.
3.   Increase in Federal revenues
For every $1 increase in economic activity the Federal government receives $.20 in additional revenues.
4.   Increase in State revenues
For every $1 increase in economic activity the State governments receive $.10 in additional revenues.
5.   Increase in Local revenues (City and County)
For every $1 increase in economic activity the local governments receive $.08 in additional revenues.
6.   Employment Ratio (ER)
For every $100,000 in increased economic activity, 1 job is created.

Unemployment and Welfare

Because of the increase in employment, unemployment and the costs of unemployment would be drastically reduced thereby reducing the tax burden for these costs. Likewise, with the increase in employment opportunities and wage increases, the welfare recipient may decide it is more profitable and easier to get a job than remain on welfare. This also will decrease the welfare costs to the taxpayers.

An Example of the Principles

The State of XYZ at the State-level has approximately $42.40 billion of the taxpayer's money it is not using, i. e. surpluses equal to $3,703 for every man, woman and child in XYZ or $14,811 for a family of 4. This does not include all the additional surpluses that exist in the school districts, cities, or counties in XYZ.

If these surpluses at the State-level were returned to the people, the total economic benefits increase to $8,144 per capita and $32,574 for a family of 4.

Here is a chart that tells the whole story, but only for the major portion of State-level government, not the potential surpluses at the school districts, cities, or counties in XYZ. Their potential surpluses would be added to the amounts indicated below.

Economic Impact Analysis Summary - XYZ CAFR Review - FY 2001

  Economic Principle   Explanation   Amount
(In Thousands)
Per Capita Family of 4  
  Actual Refund   Total Potential Surpluses   $ 42,395,994 $ 3,703 $ 14,811  
  Economic Output Multiplier (EOM)  

For every $1 of refund to the people the economic activity increases by $2. This is the increase in Gross State Product (GSP). Results in increased sales for local businesses.

  $ 84,791,988      
      Increase in GSP - Sales   22.84%      
  Economic Earnings Multiplier (EEM)  

For every $1 of refund to the people the wages paid to each household wage earner increases by $.50.

  $ 21,197,997 $ 1,851 $ 7,405  
  Employment Ratio (ER)  

For each $100,000 in increased economic activity, one additional job is created

  847,920 jobs created      

Increase in State Revenues means a Reduction in Taxes


All governments earn revenue based on the economic activity in their respective taxing jurisdiction. For every $1 of economic activity, the State receives revenue of approximately $.10. This increase in revenue should result in reduced taxes.

  $ 5,935,439 $ 518 $2,074  
  Increase in local government revenues   For every $1 of economic activity, the local governments receive revenue of approximately $.08.   $ 6,783,359 $ 590 $ 2,360  
  Increase in Federal Revenues  

The Federal government earns $.20 on every $1 in economic activity.

  $ 16,958,398 $ 1,481 $ 5,924  
      TOTAL BENEFITS THE FIRST YEAR     $ 8,144 $ 32,574  

[NOTE: In The CAFAR eBook, the above schedule (form) is provided with the formulas shown for each cell in the table. The form is provided as a spread sheet schedule and a word processing form.]

If the $612 billion was returned to the taxpayers this is what would happen:

  (In Billions) Surpluses
Per    Capita Family of 4    
  The surplus is returned to the taxpayers. $ 612 2,149 8,572  
  Wages are increased. $ 306 1,074 4,294  
  State government revenues increase. $ 122 429 1,716  
Local government revenues increase. $ 98 343 1,372  
  Federal government revenues increase. $ 244 858 3,432  
  Total Benefits...   4,849 19,396  

In addition, 12.2 million jobs would be created. There would be a labor shortage in this country. Business sales would increase astronomically.

It would create the greatest economic expansion in the history of not only this country, but of the world.

Results of Reviews

Here is the results of State reports for FY 2003.

Name of Government CAFR Year Surpluses (In Billions) Per Capita Surplus Total 1st Yr Benefits Per Capita Total Benefits - Family of 4 Click for Reports
   Alabama 2003 $ 9.00 1,999 4,518 18,071
   Alaska 2003 $ 7.76 11,888 26,867 107,467
   Arizona 2003 $ 10.07 1,840 4,165 16,660
   California 2003 $ 59.83 1,695 3,830 15,321
   Colorado 2003 $ 6.60 1,450 3,169 12,675
   Florida 2003 $ 48.79 2,843 6,706 26,826
   Georgia 2002 $ 18.76 2,192 4,962 19,847
   Hawaii 2003 $ 4.40 3,492 7,892 31,567
   Idaho 2003 $ 2.18 1,608 3,634 14,535
   Illinois 2003 $ 17.47 1,386 3,458 13,833
   Indiana 2003 $ 11.73 1,904 4,303 17,210
   Iowa 2003 $ 4.84 1,647 3,722 14,889
   Kentucky 2003 $ 5.63 1,351 3,060 12,240
   Louisiana 2003 $ 9.65 2,152 4,862 19,450
   Maryland 2003 $ 6.68 1,225 2,783 11,134
   Massachusetts 2003 $ 10.06 1,565 3,536 14,143
   Michigan 2003 $ 10.13 1,009 2,282 9,129
   Mississippi 2003 $ 4.55 1,620 3,661 14,646
   Minnesota 2003 $ 10.53 2,078 4,700 18,798
   Montana 2003 $3.15 3,460 7,832 31,329
   Nebraska 2002 $2.88 1,679 3,700 14,799
   Nevada 2003 $ 3.56 1,530 3,457 13,830
   New Jersey 2003 $ 21.04 2,420 5,557 22,227
   New York 2003 $ 52.56 2,723 6,153 24,612
   North Carolina 2003 $ 12.99 1,537  3,625 14,500
   North Dakota 2003 $ 2.88 4,544 10,269 41,078
   Ohio 2003 $ 32.09 2,809 6,349 25,398
   Oklahoma 2003 $ 7.78 2,226 5,036 20,146
   Oregon 2003 $ 10.91 3,111 7,031 28,124
   Pennsylvania 2003 $ 21.07 1,715 4,010 16,041
   South Carolina 2003 $ 5.62 1,358 3,069 12,278
   Tennessee 2003 $ 4.23 719 1,625 6,499
   Texas 2003 $ 53.77 2,417 5,463 21,854
   Utah 2003 $ 4.80 2,018 4,565 18,260
   Virginia 2003 $ 10.85 1,492 3,372 13,487
   Washington 2003 $ 17.65 2,921 6,504 26,015
   West Virginia 2003 $ 3.83 2,117 4,785 19,140
   Wisconsin 2003 $ 7.44 1,368 3,091 12,363
   Wyoming 2003 $ 5.95 11,941 26,030 104,121
Cities and Counties:   (In Millions)        
   Pima County, AZ 2003 $ 238.7 723 1,634 6,536
   Phoenix, AZ 2003 $ 2,343.3 1,610 3,639 14,555
   Maricopa County,    AZ 2003 $ 844.55 3,521 8,021 32,083
   Scottsdale, AZ 2003 $ 483.19 2,207 5,012 20,046
   Tempe, AZ 2003 $ 341.75 2,144 4,869 19,474
   Glendale, AZ 2003 $ 385.37 1,668 3,687 14,748
   Mesa, AZ 2003 $ 245.36 565 1,311 5,244

Note: For those familiar with governmental accounting, for surpluses we basically used GFOA Balance Sheet Account Classification Codes 101, 102, 103, 151, 153, and 170 .

The above chart indicates that the total surpluses for these States is $612 billion.

The above States represent 93.5% of the U.S.A. population. Now if this amount is extrapolated to the total U.S.A. population, the total State-level potential surpluses are $612 billion. That is the amount of excess taxpayers money that the States have sitting at the State-level government in excess of their needs to operate the government. This does not include the school districts, cities and/or counties in these States.

Economic Impact Analysis if State-Level Potential Surpluses were returned to the people:

There are two segments to our economy, the private sector (individuals/businesses) and the public sector (governments). Individual and business/company economics are completely different from government economics. But most people apply their individual or a business/company economics to governments. For example, it sounds OK for a government to have an emergency fund, a rainy day fund, to hold money for future expansion, paying off debt, etc. Isn't that OK? NO!

As the above table demonstrates that when the surpluses are returned to the people (private sector of our economy) some magic takes place. It is elementary economics.

People fail to realize that 12.2 million jobs would be created increasing the standard of living for all. Unemployment would cease to exist. Wage and technology productivity increases would be needed to make up for the shortage in the job market.

Each report contains an economic impact analysis to demonstrate the tremendous benefits to the taxpayer when the surpluses are returned to the people.

There are 83,000 CAFRs prepared every year. Some are duplicates of data in other CAFRs. Just think of the surpluses that exist with all the school districts, cities, counties, States, and Other CAFRs. If these surpluses were returned to the people, there would be no need to worry about Social Security again.

Summary - Unanswered Questions

We have proved that when money (surpluses) are provided to the people rather than remain in the hands of governments, governments receive more revenues from the increased economic activity. Let's look at something very closely.

Premise: One government does not tax the income received by another government.