Follow the Money - From Surpluses to School Buses: Understanding Public Finance


Annual BRASS program
June 26, 2006
New Orleans, Louisiana

Follow the Sources:
From Local to International Level
of Public Finance Resources

presented by
Kelly Janousek
California State University, Long Beach

Download a copy of the pdf version of this presentation.

Basic Reference Concepts

  • Most of this information is available via the web
  • Federal and state are easiest to locate
  • Follow the taxes�these fund the budgets that will be spent

Local Government Tricks

  • Using Google terms like city budget summary
    • 33,400,00 hits (Found 6/8)
  • Using Google UncleSam
    • 7,570,000 hits (Found 6/8)with only six duplicates from above
    • Also terms like city budget proposed--9,210,000 with only one duplicate from above.

State Government Trick

  • National Conference of State Legislatures (page 10 of bibliography)
    • Overview
    • Budget Procedures
    • Budget Conditions
    • State Revenues

[screen shot of National Conference of State Legislatures website]

Federal Tricks

  • Budget of the U.S. Government by GPO (page 14 of bibliography)
    • The $$
  • U.S. Congressional Budget Office (page 14 of bibliography)
    • Fiscal Topics

[screen shot of home page of Budget of the United States Government]

[screen shot of Congressional Budget Office web page]

  • U.S. President. Office of Management and Budget (page 15 of bibliography)
    • Spending $$ ideal
  • U.S. Dept. of Treasury. Financial Management Service (page 14 of bibliography)
    • Actually write the checks

[screen shot of Office of Management and Budget web site]

[screen shot of Financial Management Service web site]


Number of Independent & Sovereign States of the World number
(per CountryWatch – Interesting Facts Section)

International Tricks

  • U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Agencies (page 16 of bibliography)
    • 185 States
    • 7 International organizations
  • Northwestern University Library’s International Documents: Foreign Governments (page 16 of bibliography)
    • 223 States

[screen shots of two sites mentioned above]

Article Tricks

  • Public Affairs Information Service (PAIS) (page 19 of bibliography)
    • Country name—finance in DE
    • State—finance in DE
    • City—State—finance in DE
    • Country name—fiscal policy in DE
    • State—fiscal policy in DE
    • Country name and public finance
  • ABI/Inform Global (page 19 of bibliography)
    • OxResearch

Bibliography misses:

  • Sage Public Administration Abstracts –
    • Subject Index
    • Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, ISSN 1096-3367
  • EconLit Index
    • classification code "H"

[screen shot of EconLit's classification scheme, H section]

[screen shot of an EconLit search strategy using the classification code]

  • Caiden, Naomi. "Budgetary Processes." Encyclopedia of Government and Politics. 2nd ed. Eds. Mary Hawkes and Maurice Kogan. New York: Routledge, 2004. 827-841.

Other Question Tricks

  • National Priorities Project (page 10 of bibliography)
    • "Shows how federal tax and spending impact your community"
    • Includes the NPP Database that show statistics at zip code, high school, school district, county, state (Lots on military).

[screen shot of web site of National Priorities Project]

Questions Kelly Janousek
California State University, Long Beach
See BRASS page for bibliography [shown below]

bullet Follow the Money - From Surpluses to School Buses: Understanding Public Finance
BRASS Program, ALA Annual Conference, June 26, 2006

Disclaimer: This publication has been placed on the web for the convenience of BRASS members. Information and links will not be updated. Posted 24 August 2006.