Budget Matters Blog


“Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy:” Where We are Right Now with the Debt Deal*

Everybody wants to reduce the deficit, right? Elected officials across the political spectrum, business  and labor groups, even 81% of everyday Americans (according to a poll by the Pew Research Center) — all would like to see the federal deficit reduced. The thing is, it's incredibly difficult to get all ...

“The Dead Budget Society,” or Why the Appropriations Process Doesn't Matter (Right Now)

Oh Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done; Our ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won; The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting! Well...not quite. Although I'm sure our elected officials across the political spectrum would like to claim the ...

"Consumer Protection? Who Needs It?" - The House Appropriations Committee

If you're like most humans, when you see “Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2012 Financial Services Appropriations Bill” your eyes probably wander to see if there's any grass growing or paint drying nearby. And if you're under 25 you probably didn't even read the whole thing, did you? Well you ...

Field Notes: Creating Change in Washington

Earlier this week I went to Washington, D.C. for the international conference of RESULTS, a nonpartisan organization working to end hunger and poverty by empowering individuals to exercise their personal and political power. The goal of RESULTS is captured in this quote by former Oregon Republican Senator Mark Hatfield:“We stand ...

“Mr. Gates, Please Bring Your Checkbook”

That’s the message that U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates got from President Hamid Karzai when he visited Afghanistan in December 2009. At that time, President Karzai told Sec. Gates that the Afghan government would not be able to shoulder the costs of the nation’s new security forces – both national ...

Federal Priorities 2.0 Beta

NPP is excited to announce version 2.0 of our Federal Priorities Database. It's easy to share, download, and browse information about social indicators and federal expenditures.


In order to Form a More Perfect Union, Nation's Mayors Resolve to End the Wars

Right now in Baltimore, top elected officials from cities across the country are meeting for the 79th time since the founding of the U.S. Conference of Mayors during the Great Depression. The group consists of more than 1,200 mayors, representing cities with 30,000+ residents. This year's meeting marks a rare ...

Dr. StrangeBiden, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Debt Ceiling*

Several folks wrote to me this past week with questions about all the debt ceiling talk going on in Washington right now. But first, let me ask all of you something: Can you feel it? That electric tingle in the air? The almost palpable feeling of magic and wonder reminiscent ...

Congress Taking Food from Poor Women and Children to Save a Few Bucks?

Ask Kyle – Putting the “Bud” back in Federal BudgetWell...maybe. The actual answer is complicated. Although that might be an a reasonable conclusion to draw if you recently read that Congress was planning to slash more than $832 million from the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program. WIC helps ...

Talk of Balanced Budget Raises Eyebrows

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }a:link { } On June 6th, 103 Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives lead by Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) sent a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) calling for a “Cut, Cap, and ...