The federal budgeting process is wrought with conflict that makes it nearly impossible for the budget to be passed on time, or so it seems. One aspect overlooked is the effects of statutory Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rules. The cursory evidence indicates PAYGO may be beneficial under certain circumstances. The analysis relies on an Autoregressive-Moving-Average (ARMA) time series model with data from appropriations bills signed into law from fiscal years 1994 to 2014. The findings indicate mixed effects for PAYGO statutes with a shorter budgeting timeline under the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, but a longer timeline under the Statutory PAYGO Act of 2010. Additional findings suggest substantive relationships between the length of the budgeting process and party polarization, presidential leadership, and the economy.
This document was originally published in Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management by PrAcademics Press. Copyright restrictions may apply.
Fowler, Luke. (2016). "PAYGO for Punctuality". Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, 28(3), 265-298.