Budget Matters Blog

Category: Transparency & Data

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.

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.

Updated Data: Electric Emissions

All electric emissions data have been updated and are now current through 2011.

Updated Data: Energy Consumption

All energy consumption data have been updated to reflect the latest published information and are now current through 2010.

NPP's Federal Spending Database: USASpending.gov Made Understandable

NPP's Federal Priorities Database--the interactive tool that connects the dots between our tax dollars, the federal budget, and programs or services in your community--now pulls spending information from USASpending.gov, making it accessible to the average citizen.

Updated Data: Federal Tax Collection

Federal Tax Collections have been updated through 2012, reflecting the latest available IRS data.

How Sequestration Will Lead to Less Informed Budgeting

The Census Bureau is yet another agency impacted by the sequester, and result could be delayed release of some key economic data. Cutting this bureau's funds could lead to uninformed budgeting and the inability to track the outcomes of our policies and spending.