New! More Cost Data and Better Debt Insight
We’re delighted today to announce the roll-out of a new feature on WashingtonWatch.com—actually, two new features. Both are designed to inform you better about what’s going on in Washington, D.C.
First, we’re adding lots of new cost data for the bills in Congress.
The folks at the National Taxpayers Union Foundation do cost estimates for many of the bills in Congress through their BillTally program. They have generously offered this information to us so we can share it with you. Many more bills now have cost estimates associated with them, so you can get a better sense of the dollar size and significance of the bills in Congress. (Here’s NTUF’s announcement.)
On our bill pages, you’ll see that we now identify the source of the cost estimates we use. Many still come from the Congressional Budget Office—Congress’ official budget, spending, and economics estimator—but now we have the National Taxpayers Union Foundation and a few other sources specified, such as congressional committee reports, which sometimes have spending information in them.
Second, we’ve added national debt figures to help you understand better how the bills in Congress fit into the overall budget picture.
On each bill with a cost estimate, you’ll also see how the bill affects the national debt. Many bills have little or no cost, and they don’t have any effect on the national debt. Many other bills are straight spending bills and they increase the national debt by as much as they spend. But some bills have tax and revenue measures in them that reduce their effect on debt or that bring down the national debt. (Bills can “cost” money in our main calculation while reducing the national debt because taxes “cost” taxpayers money while lowering debt.) Take a look at our “about” page for more on our cost calculations and what they mean.
We hope that this helps you judge what’s important in Congress. We appreciate the work of the National Taxpayers Union Foundation for making this information available to us. We hope you’ll pass the word to others about this resource so more Americans can get a handle on what is happening in Washington, D.C.