Budget Matters Blog

Entries By Guest Blogger


Open Data from White House Shows Path Forward

Today, the White House is issuing a new Executive Order on Open Data -- one that is significantly different from the open data policies that have come before it -- reflecting Sunlight's persistent call for stronger public listings of agency data, and demonstrating a new path forward for governments committing to open data.


Congress Prevents Flight Delays by Lying; Cuts Funding for Domestic Violence Relief Programs

Last week we explained that Congress was rushing to prevent airport delays, even as education programs and services for vulnerable Americans - such as shelters for victims of domestic violence - were seeing funding cuts. Then lawmakers passed the "Reducing Flight Delays Act" - by lying about a typo and throwing transparency out the window.


How Budget Cuts Affect Special Education Programs

The cost of education for a child with disabilities can be double the amount needed for a child without disabilities.  Many students with special needs require multiple services such as classroom aides, counseling, specialized equipment, or access to health professionals during the day. Special education programs are often underfunded, leading to poor outcomes for students and repercussions for schools and communities. Unfortunately, many school districts today are seeing budget cuts, and these cuts exacerbate the challenges faced by special education programs.


Competing Priorities: The Millennial Outlook

Millennials have just as much of a stake in the answers to long-term budget questions as we do in the short-term decisions concerning the economic recovery. First, Millennials prefer a balanced approach with regards to deficit reduction.


Voting for the First Time

I used to be oblivious to the inner workings of my pay stub, and how the taxes I pay are used by the federal government. As a recent high school graduate, working two jobs and preparing for college, reading A People’s Guide to the Federal Budget has been a real eye-opener. As I prepare to vote for the first time this fall, and enter into college as a political science major, I am more aware of how seemingly concrete numbers can be twisted around to aid different points of view.


Money Don't Talk...

Bob Dylan once said, "Money don't talk, it swears!" While it's easy to curse the budgetary decisions made by lawmakers, we often don’t realize how incredibly complicated the process is. I've been reading A People's Guide to the Federal Budget...


A New Way to Cast Your Vote

If we want to have a say in how our tax dollars are spent, we need to have a say in who represents us. Fortunately, we do have a say in who represents us – in theory, at least. In practice, a majority of Americans of voting age don’t have any role in determining their representation. According to the Census Bureau, just 37 percent of eligible voters actually voted in the 2010 midterm elections. Frankly, that stinks.


Across the Great State of Maine with A People's Guide

As I travel with candidates to meet voters across the state of Maine, I see people who disconnect from politics because they are overwhelmed and confused by the political landscape. Because of that confusion, I find that most people retreat from discussions about budget priorities – on the state and federal levels – and pass up opportunities to advocate for themselves and their families. 


The Future of Federal Spending Transparency Part Two: The DATA Act

This is a guest post from Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Transparency Coalition and former Counsel for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. President Obama appears to agree that the Recovery.gov model is the future of federal spending transparency. In June 2011, he established a new panel of ...


The Future of Federal Spending Transparency Part One: Recovery.gov

This is a guest post from Hudson Hollister, Executive Director of the Data Transparency Coalition and former Counsel for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Three and a half years ago, Congress passed the federal stimulus law, which required 28 federal agencies to spend hundreds of billions of ...