budgets of any major size will get most, but not necessarily all, of their money from taxpayers of several many sorts but the main goal of the agencies regardless of size and structure is to provide basic and needed services to the area they serve, whatever and wherever that may be.
While all budgets are quite similar in one form or another, they are all different in their own ways and this can include the aim(s) of the money to be spent, where the money will come from and the overall fiscal policy exercised within the budget including investment, tax rates and savings strategies.
Basic Description of each budget
Differences and similarities of each budget
Sources of Revenues of each budget
Change of revenue accounts in the future
e. Budget’s fit with mission of the domain
f. How to improve budget and/or revenue estimation for each budget
The author of this report is to compare and contrast two different budgets of great size and complexity. One of those budgets is to be at the local, state or agency level while the other is to be a major part of the United States government. The two agencies selected were the City of Los Angeles and the Department of Health and Human Services. The most recent projected or adopted budget for both jurisdictions shall be used. For the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), that would be the fiscal year 2015 budget. For the city of Los Angeles, that would be the fiscal year 2013-2014 budget. While all budgets are quite similar in one form or another, they are all different in their own ways and this can include the aim(s) of the money to be spent, where the money will come from and the overall fiscal policy exercised within the budget including investment, tax rates and savings strategies.
The Los Angeles budget was submitted by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and was later modified and adopted by the Los Angeles City Council. It was to have covered all revenue collection and spending from July 1st, 2013 thru June 30th, 2014. As such, the relevant period is literally about to end with days of this report being prepared. The budget is an amalgamation of all of the different agencies and what each of them will spend for the fiscal year in question. For each agency, there is a column that shows the mayor’s proposal of spending as compared to the council changes. If/when there are changes done in counter by the mayor, then those are shown and then a final column that shows the final total is shown on the far right. For example, page R-10, fairly early in the report, shows the spending amounts for Animal Services. The salaries and expenses proposed by the mayor and changed by the council are shown and the general source of the funds to be used are shown at the bottom. In the case of Animal Services, a modicum of the funs shall come from the Animal Sterilization Fund but he vast majority will come from the general tax collection fund that is used by the city of Los Angeles to fund most of their endeavors. This breakdown continues for each agency using all of the sections just mentioned. The prevailing format changes for special funds and/or projects that involve investments or other special fund sources like pension funds and so forth. However, the format is pretty consistent. There are also pages that show tax receipts vs. budget and how this all compares to the new year’s budget so that one can see the trend over the last two to three fiscal years including what has happened and what has been enacted for future projects and expenses. In total, the budget for the City of Los Angeles was 415 pages for the fiscal year in question and this includes the index (Los Angeles, 2014).
In terms of where the Los Angeles money goes, that is neatly broken down within the report. About 44.4% of all funds go to community safety expenditures such as crime control, fire control, public assistance and other similar endeavors and expenditures. Another 26.8% goes to home and community environment spending such as sewage collection/treatment/disposal, solid waste collection and disposal, planning/building enforcement, blight identification/elimination, aesthetic and clean street programs, and other similar spending. Transportation comes in at 12.5% of all spending with just half of that figure going to traffic control and the rest goes to street/highway transportation and other measures/requirements. About 2.4% of the total budget goes to the Los Angeles human resources spending amount as well as economic assistance/development expenditures. The final 7.4% goes to general administration and support. Those amounts include administrative, legal and personnel services, legislative services, executive services, public buildings/facilities expenses and other financial operations (Los Angeles, 2014).
By comparison, the fiscal year 2015 budget for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was reviewed and pored over for this report using the “Budget in Brief” snippet that they send as a summary or their full budget due to the gargantuan size of the latter. The Budget in Brief starts out by covering the overall total of outlays for the new budget year and it shows the prior two fiscal years, those being 2013 and 2014 of course, as a means of comparison. In 2013, the budget showed spending of $886 million on a budget authority of $873 million. In 2014, there was an authority of $962 million and out outlay of $958 billion. In 2015, the amounts are projected to be an authority of $1.020 billion and a total outlay amount of $1.010 billion. Of those one billion dollars, a shade over half of that will go to Medicare for a total of just over half a billion. A third of the overall number will go Medicaid. Anywhere from two percent to eight percent will go to discretionary programs, children’s entitlement programs, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other mandatory programs. The sources of these funds come from two major sources, those being the “general fund” of federal income tax receipts while a lot of other money comes from money withheld directly for the program in the form of Medicare tax, an employment tax that anyone with taxable income pays into. The recently passed, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly referred to as “ObamaCare,” is a program not specifically mentioned in the pie chart but is also a concern and a factor in the budget since its enactment in 2010 (HHS, 2014)
The breakout for each “sub-agency” of the Department of Health and Human Services is laid forth. For example, the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes for Health, among others, are all actually sub-agencies to the larger Health and Human Services Agency. This is not unlike many to most intelligence agencies at the federal level all answering to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and/or the Homeland Security director. With each agency, there is a good further drilling down of what is done as well as graphs and charts showing things like enrollment figures, highlights of challenges or problems in certain areas and so on. The total “Budget in Brief” document assessed for this report is about 141 pages (HHS, 2014).
As for a compare and contrast of the two budget documents, there are a lot of similarities but there are also a bunch of differences. They are similar in that they are both quite lengthy but they are different in that the supposedly smaller agency, at least in terms of any larger government force, has a budget document that is more than 400 pages but the HHS “brief” document is 141 pages. Even with the enhanced brevity of the HHS document, there is a greatly improved amount of detail, explanations and so on in addition to the standard prior year and current year examples that dominate the Los Angeles budget. The HHS budget not only names each sub-agency and expenditure in the budget line items themselves and compares the current year stop the prior years, they also give fairly thorough explanations of what each department or sub-agency does, how many people they have serviced in recent years and how that stands to change in the coming years and other things as well. Both of the budgets have indexes and a legend of what each acronym stands for. The Los Angeles budget, meaning the actual document reviewed for this assignment, is full of actual statues and other “legalese” whereas it is obvious that the HHS budget document was condensed and reformed for easier public consumption. However, neither of the budgets are written or presented in a form that an educated person could not understand but the Los Angeles version is more likely to confuse people that are new to politics, business or finance in general as compared to the HHS budget (HHS, 2014).
Regarding the major sources…