Contact: Becky Sweger, 413-584-9556
New Website Tracks Federal Spending to the State Level
Highlights Previously Unavailable Data About How U.S. Government Spends Taxpayer Dollars
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 16, 2014 -- Since 2010, the last year for the U.S. Census Bureau's Consolidated Federal Funds Report, Americans have been without an accurate source tracking how the federal government is spending taxpayer dollars. Now, with a new release from National Priorities Project (NPP), that is about to change.
In an extensive and unparalleled investigation into federal spending data, NPP has created a new interactive publication, called State Smart, that greatly increases government transparency by providing a source for Americans to follow federal money to all fifty states plus the District of Columbia. The website is at www.nationalpriorities.org/smart.
"At NPP we decided to bring back this level of detail about federal spending because we believe that all Americans deserve to know how the government is spending their tax dollars," said Becky Sweger, NPP Director of Data and Technology and the project's lead researcher.
The government provides only a partial replacement for the now-defunct Consolidated Federal Funds Report, a website called USASpending.gov. Even that is incomplete and rife with errors and inconsistencies. It is also difficult to use, making it unlikely that ordinary Americans can actually access data about how much the government is spending in the states.
To fill this gap, Sweger and other researchers at NPP compiled data from multiple primary sources and aggregated them into an easy-to-use website allowing citizens to see how much their states pay in federal taxes at the individual and business level, as well as the totality of federal dollars that come to their states through four primary spending areas:
federal money directly to individuals,
grants to state and local governments,
federal compensation, and
Some key findings include:
In 2012, federal grants for programs such as TANF, Title I, and Medicaid accounted for one in every three state revenue dollars.
In all but four states (Nebraska, Rhode Island, Arkansas, and Delaware), businesses paid less than 20 percent of the total federal tax payments received from the state.
In 38 states, Department of Defense dollars represented more than half of total federal contract spending to vendors performing federal work. Connecticut, Maine, and Arizona all receive more than 90 percent of their federal contract dollars from the Department of Defense.
During the past 5 years, compensation for federal jobs has been rising at a slower rate than compensation for U.S.-based jobs as a whole.
State Smart also includes time-series data and state-to-state comparisons, allowing Americans to see what changes in federal spending to their states have occurred over time and what other states receive in comparison.
Sweger continued, "Americans are affected every day by federal spending. These dollars have a direct impact on people: food stamps, education benefits, Medicaid, and hundreds of other programs are funded by the federal government. We need accurate and state-level information about how that money is being spent."
Complete datasets in each of the four spending areas, for all fifty states and the District of Columbia, are available to members of the media.
National Priorities Project is a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that tracks federal spending and transparency, with a focus on using data to drive analysis and tell compelling stories showing how individuals, communities and states are impacted by federal budget choices and policy decisions. www.nationalpriorities.org