Budget Matters Blog


As the Expenditures Turn

Where we get federal expenditure data, why we don't show all 10 million rows of it, and an API sneak peek.


Mapping Essential State and County Data About Federal Spending and Social Well-being

National Priorities Project announces the launch of its Federal Priorities Database, a tool which compares the way our nation spends money with the social impact of these expenditures. The database tracks both federal spending and social indicators (e.g., poverty rates, renewable energy usage and enrollment in the State Children's Health ...

Federal Priorities Database: Underemployment (U-6)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes several alternate meausures of labor underutilization that are more inclusive than the standard unemployment rate.


Data Story: School Lunches

Now that schools everywhere are back in full swing, we’ve posted a new featured data story on our Federal Priorities Database. This one looks at two datasets: school lunch participation and school lunch expenditures. Over the years, the number of students eating school lunch has increased, reaching 31,724,421 for the school year ending in 2010. These lunches were subsidized by the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Federal assistance for this program, which totaled $9.8 billion In FY 2009, comes in the form of cash reimbursements and “entitlement foods” from the USDA.


New Data: Underemployment

There's a new indicator in the Federal Priorities Database. Underemployment: Percent of the civilian labor force unemployed, marginally attached (available but not currently looking for work), or involuntarily working part-time.


Debt-Ceiling Debacle Mach 2: The Super Committee

Do you remember (as unpleasant as it may be) the debt-ceiling fiasco that happened a little more than a month ago?  Well in case you need a refresher, the end result called for an immediate $917 billion in spending cuts over the next 10 years. The rest of the proverbial ...

Unemployment Insurance: An Overview

Unemployment insurance (UI) is a joint venture between the federal government and the states: each state sets its own recipient critera based on federal guidelines. The federal government collects taxes from employers, which go into a Trust Fund that pays for administrative costs, state loans, and extended benefits. States collect employer taxes too; these fund the first 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. During long periods of economic downturn, the federal government has two ways to help states with the highest rates of unemployment: the extended unemployment program and emergency unemployment compensation. The former is funded by the Unemployment Trust Fund. The latter is funded by the US Treasury; therefore, extending it requires Congressional approval.

New Data: Federal, State, and Local Percentages of School District Revenue

We've added percentage of revenue from federal, state, and local sources to our school district data.


Data Update: Average Teacher Salary

Average Teacher Salary is now current through the school year ending in 2010.


New Data: School Districts

We've made 13 school district-level datasets available for viewing and downloading.