Budget Matters Blog

Entries By Mattea Kramer

Fiscal Cliff Definition

With all the talk in the news media about the "fiscal cliff," it seems that one important thing has been left out: A simple definition of what is the fiscal cliff. So here it is.

Fiscal Cliff Negotiations: What's At Stake for Your State

Governors and city mayors across the country want to have a say in negotiations over the fiscal cliff, the New York Times reported on Sunday. And no wonder. State budgets rely heavily on funding from the federal government, so across-the-board federal budget cuts – which are currently scheduled for the start of 2013 – would have a big impact on the states. Consider just a couple ways that federal money flows into your state.

A Fight for the Future: How Budget Talks Affect Young People

You’ve heard the term “fiscal cliff” and you’ve heard about how lawmakers in Washington can’t agree on spending or taxes. But here’s what you may not have heard: The federal budget negotiations happening right now may result in deep cuts to programs that benefit the next generation of Americans.

A Fight for the Future

National Priorities Project and Young Invincibles announce the release of A Fight for the Future: Education, Job Training, and the Fiscal Showdown, a major report that looks at federal budget priorities through the lens of this nation's future: young people.

Voter Guide 2012: Obama vs. Romney on the Issues

The two presidential candidates have put forth very different proposals on nearly every issue, and now it's up to voters to choose the path our country will take for years to come. From Medicare to education to budget deficits, here's where the candidates stand on 12 key issues:   Candidate ...

You Ask, We Answer: How Will Obamacare Affect My Taxes?

Last week we got a call from Ayesha in Houston, Texas. She said she heard Obamacare will be funded through taxes, so she wanted to know how much more she'd have to pay. Here's the scoop. Only some people will pay higher taxes as a result of Obamacare. Will you be one of them?

You Ask, We Answer: How Much Does the U.S. Spend on Foreign Aid

When asked if they support cutting certain types of federal spending, many Americans say they'd like to see the U.S. reduce the amount of aid we give to foreign countries. So it's worth knowing: How much does our federal government currently spend on foreign aid?

You Ask, We Answer: Fact Check on Social Security and the Deficit

Paul from Northampton, Mass., wrote in to ask: "Some politicians say Social Security in no way contributes to the deficit. But for the last two years Social Security expenditures have exceeded Social Security revenues. How does this not contribute to the deficit?" Good question, Paul.

The Debate We're Not Having

These days, it’s fashionable for any candidate for federal office to talk about how quickly he’ll reduce the budget deficit, which totaled around $1.1 trillion in fiscal 2012.

You Ask, We Answer: Fact Check on Stimulus Spending ahead of the Presidential Debates

The first of three presidential debates is scheduled for Wednesday. We don't know precisely what topics the candidates will cover, but we can make some educated guesses. And one reader from Duluth, Minnesota, wrote in to ask us about a likely topic: the much-debated 2009 stimulus package, which greatly increased federal spending for several years. The president and his team were famously over-optimistic about how quickly the economy would recover, but that's a separate issue from whether or not the stimulus helped ease the devastating effects of the downturn. Here's the low-down.