Budget Matters Blog

Entries By Becky Sweger

Help Congress Act on Tax Reform

NPP's Taxes and Tax Reform one-page fact sheet gives you the info you need to weigh in on changes to the tax code.

Slimming Down the Tax Code: the Blank Slate Diet

Speaking of hot summer budget battles, can two Senators put tax breaks on a "blank slate" diet and shed a few pounds from the U.S. tax code?

DATA Act Gets Another Shot in the New Congress

Kaitlin Devine from the Sunlight Foundations guest posts with an update on the 2013 version of the DATA Act, intended to improve federal spending transparency.

Civic Hackers Conclude: Federal Spending Transparency Nonexistent

Guest blogger Anthony Holley reports on the Hack for Western Mass project to reconcile federal spending data in USASpending.gov with numbers reported in the federal budget.

National Day of Civic Hacking & Western Mass

Hack for Western Mass was a tremendous success, drawing volunteers from the region and beyond to work on nine local challenges (including some federal budget projects). We were joined by the Sunlight Foundation, the Census Bureau, and a team of small hackers in training.

Hack for Western Mass: Local Needs for Government Data

This weekend is Hack for Western Mass, one of over 90 events taking place across the country for the National Day of Civic Hacking. What are local orgs doing with government data? You'd be surprised!

Open Government Advocates Unite at Transparency Camp

Meeting people from around the world, setting legislative agendas, and going to Capitol Hill - it's just another day at the Sunlight Foundation's Transparency Camp.

Can the DATA Act Restore Medicare "Cuts?"

The Medicare program accounts for around 14 percent of the entire federal budget, but you wouldn’t know it from USAspending.gov, a website that’s supposed to make government spending transparent. If you use it to investigate how much the government spent on Medicare benefits last year, you’ll find a surprising number: zero.

National Priorities Project and Western Massachusetts' First Civic Hackathon

In just over a month, hackers will descend on over 80 locations across the United States, including right here in Western Massachusetts. But don’t worry—these are civic hackers: volunteer technologists, data geeks, designers, and citizens coming together and using publicly-released data to solve challenges relevant to their towns and states. NPP is thrilled to sponsor Hack for Western Mass.

Data Story: Social Security's Wide Reach and Proposed Cuts

Nearly 90% of Americans oppose cuts to Social Security, which covers more than just retirees. Benefits are also paid to those with disabilities and family members of deceased workers. Combined, these groups received about $720 billion during fiscal year 2011.