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This report outlines the recent course of events in government spending, taxation, and employment at all three levels, and briefly reviews the fiscal limitation movement and its accomplishment. The report also includes the findings from a case study of the recent fiscal history of Los Angeles, which may help explain taxpayer discontent. Prevailing sentiment, as expressed through the American political system, appears to favor containment, if not contraction, in government. Along the road to this objective, some groups are likely to suffer as others gain. The report concludes with as assessment of the social costs and political effects that containment may engender. It is offered in the hope that, armed with foreknowledge, the nation can avoid causing needless harm through unreflective zeal.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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