Review: A People's Guide to the Federal Budget

Have you ever felt confused when hearing about the federal budget? Do you feel that the frequent debates in Washington about deficit and spending are complex, and you wish you understood them? Then A People’s Guide to the Federal Budget is the book for you.

A People's Guide to the Federal Budget

The book is written in very simple language, making it accessible for the average reader with no previous knowledge of the federal budget.  And as a matter of fact, I was surprised to see how much I had learned in the first two chapters, where the authors explained common misconceptions related to federal spending. These are just simple (yet important) points that reporters don’t mention.

Besides using accessible language, in order to make the experience reader-friendly, key points are presented at the end of each chapter (if you just want the main takeaways) alongside a glossary with the definitions of the most important words. Carefully chosen practical examples from daily life are also used as analogies to better explain subtle parts of the budget process.

The book includes answers to important questions such as who decides the federal budget, where the money comes from, where it goes, why we borrow, and how to take action by contacting Washington.

In this election year, it is really important to understand the federal budget - candidates are debating about how best to use YOUR money. And information is power; it gives you the ability to make better choices. You'll know enough to influence the process and make political choices that better reflect your priorities!

Max-Edouard Mondesir is a summer research associate. He has a master's degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and he hopes to bring his experience at National Priorities Project back to Haiti.