Budget Matters Blog

Entries By Samantha Dana

Hot Summer Budget Battle #4: Social Security and Medicare

There aren’t many things that 90 percent of Americans agree on, but there are at least two.

Hot Summer Budget Battle #3: Tax Breaks

It’s sexier than you think. Tax breaks might not be your first thought for hot summer beach reading, but what we’re really talking about are big piles of cash.

Hot Summer Budget Battle #2: The 2014 Budget

They don't agree on much, but in at least one way the House and Senate are on the same page: They both want to increase military funding next year.

Hot Summer Budget Battle #1: Sequestration

The 2011 Budget Control Act set the stage for the harsh automatic budget cuts known as sequestration to take place on January 1, 2013. These cuts will go on for a decade unless Congress agrees to stop them. Some initiatives, like the WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, have been cut by more than 20 percent.

Announcing Per Capita Spending Data

We’re happy to announce that our expenditure datasets now include per capita numbers. In other words, you can see the amount of money spent for each person who lives in a state or county. Why is this important? Below is a map of federal food stamp spending in FY 2010. ...

The Scoop on the American Jobs Act of 2011

President Obama presented the American Jobs Act of 2011 on September 8th and sent it to Congress on September 12th. Want to know what it's all about? Here’s the rundown. How does it help… the unemployed? It makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against unemployed job applicants because of ...

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.

Senate Action on the Road to a 2012 Federal Budget

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }a:link { } On May 25, 2011 the full U.S. Senate began work on its version of the FY2012 budget resolution with the consideration of four separate budget proposals. These proposals represent the broad range of options available as Congress moves forward with its efforts to ...

Continuing Resolutions 7 and 8: Finale

td p { margin-bottom: 0in; }p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }a:link { } Friday, April 8, the House of Representatives and the Senate worked until almost midnight to draft and pass legislation to keep the government open. This seventh Continuing Resolution cuts another $2 billion from the FY2011 budget in the ...

Taking the Budget Off Into the Sunset -- Committee, That Is

On March 16, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) proposed an amendment to a bill reauthorizing two award programs offered by the Small Business Administration. It has not gotten much press, but it proposes serious, long-term changes to how Washington does business and places eight members of Congress in charge of the ...