off the charts

You are here

Posts on Federal Budget
December 12, 2019

December 18: We’ve updated this post.

Congress should reject efforts to attach, to end-of-year spending legislation, a bill from the Senate Budget Committee’s Chairman Mike Enzi and member Sheldon Whitehouse that would change the budget process in a highly problematic way and...

FY17 Budget
October 8, 2019

The Senate Appropriations Committee proposes to cut 2020 funding for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education by...

In Focus: Senate Funding Bill Cuts Labor-HHS-Education Despite Added Funding Available
October 8, 2019

As the President and Congress turn this fall to finalizing the full-year appropriations bills to fund the government, they should make the changes that they’ve failed to make so far to protect SNAP from possible funding shortfalls.

In addition, if policymakers need to enact another short-term continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government when the current CR expires on November 21,...

Parent holding baby while preparing food
October 7, 2019

This summer’s budget deal between President Trump and congressional leaders offers enough total discretionary dollars to give the Social Security Administration (SSA) a much-needed funding boost in 2020, but the Senate majority plans to...

Social Security Administration Faces Increased Workload with Fewer Resources
September 23, 2019

The economy is in the 124th month of the longest expansion on record, and while expansions don’t die from old age alone, fears are rising that a recession may be on the horizon. Recessions can hurt workers and their families in many ways, so policymakers should try to make them as short and shallow as possible. That means temporarily shelving longer-term deficit concerns and enacting anti-...

Wall Street
August 6, 2019

The budget deal’s boost in non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding will only maintain NDD at about its 2019 level for the next two years, after adjusting for inflation, and won’t return NDD to its level of 2010. Claims that the deal provides very large NDD increases are true only when it’s measured against the 2011 Budget Control Act’s (BCA) very low sequestration-reduced funding targets,...

Non-Defense Discretionary Funding Remains Below 2010 Level Adjusted for Inflation
August 2, 2019

Discretionary spending will be near historic lows as a percent of the economy in 2020 and 2021 even with the added funding that the new bipartisan budget agreement (the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019), now awaiting the President’s signature, provides for those years. And even if the 2021 funding levels grow with inflation in later years, discretionary spending will fall to its lowest level on...

Discretionary Spending Would Fall as Percent of Economy Even With Bipartisan Budget Act
July 17, 2019

Policymakers should reach agreement on lifting the annual caps on total defense and non-defense funding before they leave for their August recess, so they can complete the appropriations bills in a timely way this fall — without the brinkmanship and uncertainty that can disrupt important government services. Freezing funding at 2019 levels, as some suggest, would shortchange non-defense...

Bills Bar Chart
June 10, 2019

A bill before the House Appropriations Committee would raise funding for IRS tax enforcement and operations support in 2020 — an important, but too modest, step forward after the damaging cuts in IRS enforcement since 2010. Given the depleted state and critical importance of IRS enforcement, lawmakers need to add more.

The U.S. tax system is based on voluntary compliance, which requires...

In Focus: More IRS Enforcement and Operations Support Funds Needed Inside Budget Cap
May 21, 2019

The IRS reported yesterday that it audited fewer millionaires and large corporations in fiscal year 2018 than the previous year, continuing a multi-year decline. Since 2010, the President and Congress have cut IRS funding substantially, causing workforce reductions and shortages of top auditors who have the expertise to review...

Audit Rate for Millionaires Has Dropped Steeply Since 2010