Fighting for a U.S. federal budget that prioritizes peace, economic security and shared prosperity
NPP’s Trade-offs allows citizens to see how funds were spent throughout the year, test out different spending choices, and, if they choose, to advocate for different priorities.
Federal program costs show lump sums for how much the government spent on various programs such as the Department of Defense or the National Endowment for the Humanities. These can then be reallocated to “trade-offs” that show more specific spending choices such as Head Start slots or VA medical care for veterans.
Current trade-offs are for the FY 2018 budget and in 2018 dollars.
Unless otherwise noted, the source for these projected program costs are for the fiscal year and are from the Budget Authority data put out annually by the White House Office of Management and Budget and found here (scroll down to the Public Budget Database section and click Budget Authority).
Program costs reflect total spending estimates (discretionary and mandatory) for Fiscal Year 2018 and are in 2018 dollars. Please note that in some cases reported program costs are not mutually exclusive and therefore not cannot be added together; for instance, F-35 program costs are also included in the larger Military budget.
The Overseas Contingency Operation budget, as reported for FY 2018 spending in the Defense Budget Overview as part of the Department of Defense FY 2020 budget request.
From budget authority for subfunctions: 051, 053, 054, 152. This includes the Department of Defense regular and war budgets, nuclear weapons activities, and international security assistance.
The amounts for 1% and 10% of the military budget are simply 1% and 10% of the total budget number.
As reported for FY 2018 spending in the Department of Defense Program Acquisition Cost by Weapons System as part of the Department of Defense FY 2020 budget request. This reflects the research and production costs of the F-35 program, but does not include costs related to aircraft that have already been purchased, such as maintenance and pilot training. This number is also part of the military total.
From budget authority for the bureau, Environmental Protection Agency.
From the budget authority for the Bureau "Federal Prison System."
From the budget authority for the account, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps).
Budget authority subfunction 151 (International development and humanitarian assistance) for agency “Department of State”. This does not include foreign military aid, the operations of the State Department, or contributions toward international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund.
Budget authority subfunction 153 (Conduct of foreign affairs) for agency “Department of State.”
From the budget authority for bureaus "U.S. Customs and Border Protection" and "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement."
This includes funding under the account for “Grants to the States for Medicaid.” It does not include the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation or the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission.
Agency funding for National Endowment for the Arts, which funds programs in the arts, humanities, libraries, and museums, among other things. Includes expenditures for grant making activities as well as salaries and wages.
Budget authority subfunction 53 (Atomic energy defense activities), including maintaining the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, powering naval ship reactors, and coordinating nuclear response and nonproliferation activities. This spending is also part of the military total.
As reported for FY 2018 spending in the Department of Defense Program Acquisition Cost by Weapons System as part of the Department of Defense FY 2020 budget request. This reflects the research, production and modification costs of the drone programs, as well as fielding of Reaper aircraft and ground stations. It does not include related costs such as pilot training or mission costs. This spending is also part of the military total.
Includes "Contractual services & supplies" awarded by the Department of Defense in FY 2018, according to the USASpending.gov site, accessed March 20, 2019.
Includes the most recent available data for "dollars obligated" reported for FY 2017 for all Department of Defense (DoD) contracts for "Lockheed Martin Corporation" from the "Top 100 Contractors Report" of the Federal Procurement Data System, as of March 20, 2019.
Includes the most recent available data for "dollars obligated" reported for FY 2017 for all Department of Defense (DoD) contracts for "The Boeing Company" from the "Top 100 Contractors Report" of the Federal Procurement Data System, as of March 20, 2019.
Cost estimate of the full version of President Trump’s desired border wall, as reported in the Washington Post on January 9, 2019.
To estimate how much each state, county, city and congressional district contributes to each of the federal programs above, NPP assigns each geography a percentage that represents the area’s share of the total U.S. income tax bill.
To assign the state percentages, we use state-level data from the IRS’s Individual Master File System. Specifically, Historic Table 2: Individual Income and Tax Data, by State and Size of Adjusted Gross Income, Tax Year 2012: http://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats-Historic-Table-2 [i].
To get the percentage for each state, we divide its Income tax amount by the US Income tax amount [ii].
Zip code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) are the Census Bureau’s version of postal service zip codes. The basis for all sub-state multipliers is ZCTA rather than the USPS zip code, because ZCTAs can be allocated to other geographic areas of interest, such as congressional districts and counties.
To determine the percentage of total federal individual income tax contributed by each ZCTA, we start with Individual Income Tax ZIP Code Data compiled by the IRS: http://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats-Individual-Income-Tax-Statistics-ZIP-Code-Data-(SOI) [iii]. We use tax year 2012 numbers.
To get the percentage of total taxes paid for each ZCTA, we do the following:
The Individual Income Tax ZIP Code Data is also the basis for the county, place, and congressional district taxes paid. To get those numbers, we follow steps 1 and 2 above. Then we match the ZCTAs with county, place, and 113th congressional district boundaries using the Missouri Census Data Center’s MABLE Geographic Correspondence Engine with Census 2010 Geography .
MABLE maps each ZCTA to a county or counties. Separate downloads do the same thing for places and congressional districts. When a ZCTA covers more than one county, place, or congressional district, MABLE provides an allocation to describe how much of the ZCTA belongs to each. This allocation is Census 2010 population-based.
For example, consider ZCTA 19317 in Pennsylvania. According to MABLE, 45% of the 19317 population live in Chester County, and 55% live in Delaware. Therefore, when determining the income taxes paid for each county, 45% of the 19317 amount will be assigned to Chester, and 55% will be assigned to Delaware.
Once we have the allocations from MABLE, we do the following calculations three times—once each for counties, places, and congressional districts.
We get the yearly costs of the trade-offs from the following sources. All amounts are inflation-adjusted to compare to fiscal year 2018 program costs, unless stated otherwise.
Adults receiving low-income healthcare for one year is based on the average Medicaid payment for adults contained in the Medicare and Medicaid Statistical Supplement produced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. The data year is 2011, and the specific table is Medicaid Payments per Person Served (Beneficiary), by Basis of Eligibility and Area of Residence (Table 13.24). The data are the most recent available and have been adjusted for inflation.
According to Green Growth, a 2014 report by the University of Massachusetts Political Economy and Research Institute and Center for American Progress, a $200 billion per year investment in a clean energy transition will create 2.7 million jobs, including direct and indirect effects, estimated as net jobs created (adjusting for a loss of jobs in fossil fuel energy sectors).
Children receiving low-income healthcare for one year is based on the average Medicaid payment for children contained in the Medicare and Medicaid Statistical Supplement produced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. The data year is 2011, and the specific table is Medicaid Payments per Person Served (Beneficiary), by Basis of Eligibility and Area of Residence (Table 13.24). This trade-off reflects the payment per child beneficiary. The data are the most recent available and have been adjusted for inflation.
Starting in April 2020, laboratories performing SARS-CoV2/2019-nCoV (COVID-19) tests developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could bill Medicare and other health insurers for services that occurred after February 4, 2020 using the HCPCS code U0001. The cost of one COVID-19 test is $35.92, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
A variety of COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed to the public, at a range of costs. Pfizer and BioNTech are pricing their COVID-19 vaccine at $19.50 per dose. The vaccine has a two-dose regimen, so at the price the government is paying for the first 100 million doses, a full course would cost $39, according to Barron's as of July 2020. 600 million doses would be enough to vaccinate almost the entire U.S. population of 320 million people.
According to calculations distributed by Public Citizen, a program to mass-produce enough vaccine doses at scale to vaccinate most of the world's population, at just over $3 per dose, would require an investment of $25.2 billion.
Teacher salary information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. The average annual compensation of an elementary school teacher (SOC code 252021) for each state is inflated by an additional 40% to approximate the cost of things like health insurance and pension contributions by their employer. The data year is 2015.
Head Start slot costs are calculated by dividing the total federal Head Start funding in each state by the total number of funded enrollments. The data are for fiscal year 2015 (inflation-adjusted to 2016 dollars) and come from the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center of the Administration for Children and Families.
The average cost to care for a hospitalized COVID-19 patient is $30,000, according to CNBC as of April 2020.
Households powered by solar photovoltaic energy are calculated by taking the average monthly kilowatt hour usage of households in each state from the Energy Information Administration (Summary Table 5.a, 2017 Residential average monthly bill by Census Division, and State), multiplying by 12 to get annual average usage, and multiplying by the cost of solar photovoltaic energy from the Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2019 (Table 1b – Total system levelized cost, converted to kilowatts/hour). The cost of solar energy is based on the “Total LCOE” before subsidies for Solar PV3, which is a measure of the total relative cost of utility-scale solar power generation. The data year for usage is 2017 and the data year for renewable energy cost is 2018.
Households powered by wind energy are calculated by taking the average monthly kilowatt hour usage of households in each state from the Energy Information Administration (Summary Table 5.a, 2017 Residential average monthly bill by Census Division, and State), multiplying by 12 to get annual average usage, and multiplying by the cost of solar photovoltaic energy from the Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2019 (Table 1b – Total system levelized cost, converted to kilowatts/hour). The cost of wind energy is based on the “Total LCOE” before subsidies for Onshore Wind, which is a measure of the total relative cost of utility-scale wind power generation. The data year for usage is 2017 and the data year for renewable energy cost is 2018.
According to Good Jobs for All, a report by Dorian T. Warren for Columbia University and the Roosevelt Institute (page 37), a $200 billion investment in infrastructure, including roads and bridges, public transportation, and water systems, would yield 3.6 million jobs per year.
The Fight for $15 demands that the federal minimum wage be raised to a minimum living wage of $15 per hour.
Each full time, full-year job paying $15 per hour with an allowance of an additional 40% for benefits costs $43,680 per year.
According to Good Jobs for All, a report by Dorian T. Warren for Columbia University and the Roosevelt Institute (page 29), a $200 billion investment would create 2 million jobs per year in communities where at least 20 percent of residents live below the poverty level. Job creation activities would include working with local business ("anchor institutions" such as hospitals or universities), government, and improving and expanding access to transit, education, job training and childcare.
The average cost to provide military veterans with Veterans Affairs (VA) medical care is based on the state's total VA medical care expenditures divided by the state's total number of unique patients based on data from the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics. Medical Care expenditures include dollars for medical services, medical administration, facility maintenance, educational support, research support, and other overhead items. Medical Care expenditures do not include dollars for construction or other non-medical support. The data year is 2014.
In 2020, 3M listed pricing for the most common N95 respirator mask models between $0.64 - $3.40 per mask. We chose the most expensive price for this trade-off.
Assistance provided under the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs falls into three categories: public housing, tenant-based, and privately owned, project-based. HUD's data on Assisted Housing: National and Local includes a cost average for spending per month per unit across all HUD programs. The spending per month data is available for the U.S. Total and by State. The trade-off cost for 1 year is calculated by multiplying the spending per month x 12 months. Average spending per month across all public housing units in the United States is $732, which is $8,784 for 1 year.
The scholarship figures come from the average cost for an in-state student's tuition and fees (excluding room and board) at a 4-year public university for the 2016-2017 academic year. The data are obtained from the National Center for Education Statistics Digest of Education Statistics (Table 330.20).
The number of students receiving Pell Grants is based on the current maximum grant of $6,195 for the 2019–2020 school year, for each of the states and for the United States as a whole. Information on the Federal Pell Grant Program can be found at the Office of Postsecondary Education at the US Department of Education.
i This site uses income tax numbers to approximate each locality's contribution to the designated programs, which are funded by federal funds.
ii Income tax amount reflects income taxes owed after the deduction of non-refundable credits. The amount has not been reflected to adjust for the earned income credit or for refundable credits such as the health coverage credit, and additional child tax credit. A complete list of these refundable credits is on the payments section of the 1040.
iii To protect individual identities, some returns and zip codes are excluded from IRS zip code-level reports. See the IRS documentation for details (MS Word doc).
iv For the few ZCTAs that contain two states, we assign the ZCTA to the state that contains most of its population. This assignment doesn’t change the trade-offs calculations—if affects only how the user would search for that ZCTA/”city”.