Our briefs succinctly cover basic topics like the national debt and deficits, the federal budget, and why it all matters to you and your family.
Our infographics and facts quickly explain key topics.
Our interactive tools make it easier to understand complex topics related to the national debt and federal budget.
See where the national debt and annual federal budget deficits stand and what the future outlook is. Learn the difference between debt and deficits.
Learn about how rising national debt will affect you and your family, such as through lower economic and wage growth.
Learn all about the federal budget and government spending. See how the budget process works and where your taxpayer dollars go.
Learn all about federal taxes. See where federal revenue comes from and ideas for comprehensive tax reform.
Check out ideas to fix the debt.
Learn about the financial challenges facing Social Security and Medicare and what can be done to strengthen these vital programs.
Get answers to basic questions about the national debt, like How big is the debt? And, What is the difference between deficits and debt?
A succinct look at the current national debt situation and what it means.
Check out the latest federal budget numbers, including the ten-year budget outlook.
Common myths about the national debt are debunked with facts and figures.
Check out the long-term federal budget outlook to see the unsustainable path our national debt is on.
Our primer on the statutory debt limit.
Learn what you need to know about the federal budget process.
Some interesting facts about how the government spends taxpayer money that may surprise you.
A succinct primer on the annual government spending process.
A succinct primer on the annual government spending process.
The federal budget process is faltering just as deficits are skyrocketing. Here are 6 things Congress should do.
President Trump says he wants to tackle rising national debt. We highlight 5 ways to do it.
Perpetual trillion-dollar deficits are now on the horizon. Here are 5 ways Congress should respond.
Check out the cost of policies Congress may consider and compare with key items currently in the federal budget.
The Debt Fixer interactive budget tool gives you the ability to show how to Fix the Debt.
See how old you will be when Social Security's trust funds run out and how it will affect you.
“Border Wall Requested Funding for 2020” is based on President Trump’s request to Congress for funding construction of a wall on the southern border in his fiscal year 2020 budget.
“Continue Bipartisan Budget Act Increases” is the average annual cost of extending discretionary spending increases in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which repealed the “sequestration” spending cuts.
“Free College Tuition” is based on the average annual cost of the proposal from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during the 2016 presidential campaign to make public college tuition free for all Americans.
"Green New Deal, Non-Healthcare" is the annual average of the high and low estimates from the American Action Forum's (AAF) interpretation of the Green New Deal resolution introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). This figure excludes the universal health care portion of the proposal because there is a separate "Medicare for All" estimate in the tool.
“Increase Social Security Benefits by 5 Percent” is the average annual cost of increasing benefits for all Social Security recipients by 5 percent.
"Infrastructure Spending" is the average annual cost of the $2 trillion infrastructure proposal floated by President Trump and congressional Democratic leaders.
“LIFT the Middle Class Act” is the average annual cost of legislation (S.4) introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), which would provide a refundable tax credit up to $6,000 a year to families earning less than $100,000 annually.
“Medicare for All” is the average additional annual cost of government-run universal health care, based on estimates of the proposal from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during the 2016 presidential campaign. This estimate is the additional spending by the federal government, which most proposals have not discussed how to finance.
“Pension Reform” is based on the average annual cost of the Butch Lewis Act of 2017, sponsored by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), which would make loans to underfunded pension plans.
“Repeal ‘Cadillac’ and Medical Device Taxes” is the average annual cost of eliminating the tax on high-cost health insurance plans that will take effect starting in 2020, known as the ‘Cadillac Tax,” and the excise tax on the value of medical devices sold in the U.S.
“Repeal Estate Tax” is the average annual cost of eliminating the tax on inherited estates.
“Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” is the average annual cost of the tax cuts passed in 2017.
“Tax Cuts 2.0” is the average annual cost of legislation introduced in late 2018 that would make permanent the individual tax reductions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“Defense and Military Benefits” is budget function 050, which includes the military activities of the Department of Defense, the nuclear weapons-related activities of the Department of Energy, and the national security activities of several other agencies. And budget function 700, which is benefits and services for veterans.
“Foreign Aid and International Programs” is budget function 150, which includes providing military assistance to allies; aiding developing nations; and providing economic assistance to fledgling democracies through agencies such as the Department of State; the United States Agency for International Development; the Peace Corps; and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
“Energy” is federal budget function 270. It includes civilian energy and environmental programs in the Department of Energy, the Rural Utilities Service of the Department of Agriculture, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“Transportation” is federal budget function 400. It consists of programs that support and oversee various modes of transportation, including highways, mass transit, rail, air, and maritime transportation.
“Administration of Justice” is federal budget function 750. It involves programs that provide federal law enforcement, litigation and judicial services, federal correctional operations, and state and local criminal justice assistance. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons are some of the agencies within this function.
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