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A Big Week! … for Spending

President Obama eulogized the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of nine people shot and killed by a racist terrorist during Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina. The Supreme Court saved Obamacare from a legal challenge that would have undercut the tax and subsidy scheme that are a linchpin of the law. And the Court recognized a […]

Spending on Spying? Not So Fast!

When the House debates the Defense appropriations bill this week, an interesting coalition may cause the first test of the nation’s policies on government surveillance of all Americans’ phone calling. You should pay attention. After all, the government is paying attention to you! News that the National Security Agency has been collecting all Americans phone […]

Foreign Relations: Appropriation and Appropriation

Last week, our civics lesson was called, “Homeland Security: Authorization and Appropriation.” We took a look at how Congress must create permission for programs to exist, then it spends the money on ’em. Now let’s take a look at some of the spending. Three different spending bills cover all the forms taken by our country’s […]

Our Mistake

The “cost” information we display with bills is a product of taking spending numbers and boiling them down through a “net present value” calculation. That’s essentially the amount you’d have to put in the bank today to fund spending in the future. Thanks to the miracle of compound interest, future spending is cheaper—$100 in spending […]

The Next CR — Available for Your Review

The text of the next “continuing resolution”—short-term spending bill to fund the government—has been posted on the House Rules Committee’s web site. Look it over to see what you like and don’t like. It’s bill number is H.R. 1363. Comment and vote on the bill’s page. Reportedly, it funds the Department of Defense for the […]

Budgeting and Spending Failure: Where’s the Outrage!?

The new fiscal year starts on October 1st. That’s less than two weeks away. And almost a full slate of spending bills for the coming year have been introduced in the Senate. That’s right—the Senate has only just begun working on spending plans for the new fiscal year. The House has introduced a mere two […]

The Year in FY 2010 Spending—in Review

While you were watching the big health care debate, the fiscal year 2010 spending process was going on underneath your radar. Congress allocated more than $20,000 per U.S. family in spending during the fall. Do you know where it went? If you don’t, perhaps it’s because the annual spending process once again went off the […]

The Latest on Annual Spending

Congress didn’t finish the annual spending process by the beginning of the new fiscal year October 1st. It has passed some of the bills that run the government, but most of the government has been running on temporary spending measures, called “continuing resolutions.” Here’s a run-down of the action so far: On October 1st, the […]

FY 2010 Spending Tracker

Congress is well into the process of passing the twelve spending bills that dictate federal government spending for the 2010 fiscal year, which begins October 1, 2009. We’ve produced a table to track the House and Senate bills, their costs, and votes on them, as well as votes on final passage of the compromise bill […]

While You Looked the Other Way: $8,000 in Government Spending

The drama of the financial services bailout, coming right at the end of the congressional session and the beginning of the new fiscal year, was very distracting. So distracting that it was easy to miss the partial/temporary spending bill that Congress hurriedly passed. The bill (now law) is Public Law 110-329, the Consolidated Security, Disaster […]