Government spending  

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In National Income Accounting, government spending, government expenditure, or government spending on goods and services includes all government consumption and investment but excludes transfer payments made by a state. Government acquisition of goods and services for current use to directly satisfy individual or collective needs of the members of the community is classed as government final consumption expenditure. Government acquisition of goods and services intended to create future benefits, such as infrastructure investment or research spending, is classed as government investment (gross fixed capital formation). Government outlays that are not acquisition of goods and services, and instead represent transfers of money, such as social security payments, are called transfer payments and are not included in what the national income accounts refer to as government expenditure. The two types of government spending, on final consumption and on gross capital formation, together constitute one of the major components of gross domestic product.

John Maynard Keynes was one of the first economists to advocate government deficit spending as part of the fiscal policy response to an economic contraction. In Keynesian economics, increased government spending is thought to raise aggregate demand and increase consumption, which in turn leads to increased production. Keynesian economists argue that the Great Depression was ended by government spending programs such as the New Deal and military spending during World War II. According to the Keynesian view, a severe recession or depression may never end if the government does not intervene. Classical economists, on the other hand, believe that increased government spending exacerbates an economic contraction by shifting resources from the private sector, which they consider productive, to the public sector, which they consider unproductive.

Government spending can be financed by seigniorage, taxes, or government borrowing.

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