The first chart compares the differences in debt projections between the FY 2015 budget and the CBO’s Budget and Economic Outlook for 2014 through 2024. While the president’s budget calls for higher debt levels as a percentage of GDP from 2013 to 2017 when compared to CBO current law numbers, the president’s budget plan projects that debt will drop below current trajectories by 2018.
The incentives to use political connections for personal gain grow as the power of government grows. Donating to political campaigns is one way that private interests try to win alliances of government authorities. Over the past 25 years, several of the top political contributors have sought political privilege largely under the radar, with some surprising names appearing among the top 25.
This week’s chart, which uses 2012 data from the Office of Management and Budget’s “High-Error Programs Report” to display improper payment amounts and improper payment rates of federal transfer programs, shows that over $100 billion in taxpayer funds were improperly spent in 2012.
This week’s chart uses data from the Department of Defense’s FY 2014 budget request and an analysis by Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments to display DoD outlays and personnel costs for 2014. If current trends hold, personnel costs on health care, income, and retirement may consume larger portions of the DoD budget with each succeeding year.
This week’s charts show the amount of real (2005) federal dollars spent per capita over the past 68 years with updated data. After adjusting for population and inflation, the data show that federal outlays have, with a few exceptions, grown at a staggering pace since 1948.
This week’s chart updates the history of government subsidies to the agriculture industry from 1996 to the present, using data from the Office of Management and Budget as well as new spending projections indicated by the 2014 Omnibus Bill.
This week’s chart is an updated comparison of the different measurements of the unemployment rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It includes new data on the official and alternative unemployment measurements for 2012 and 2013. The BLS data are used to assess labor market conditions from several perspectives.
On December 10, 2013, Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Patty Murray and House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan revealed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. Coming after partisan gridlock and political incentives prevented Congress from enacting a constitutionally required budget for almost half a decade, the Ryan-Murray budget promises action through compromise. A comparison of the Ryan-Murray plan to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline shows that this proposal is heavy on compromise and light on real reform.
The four and a half years since the Great Recession of 2008 could be called “the Dismal Recovery.” The most widely cited sign of progress toward a healthy economy has been the declining unemployment rate; however, the fall in the unemployment rate has largely been due to a shrinking labor-force participation rate rather than strong job growth. When you look at a broader range of labor market data, as in this week’s chart, the slow rate of progress toward recovery becomes apparent.
These charts use the most recent Congressional Budget Office Updated Budget Projection figures from May 2013 to examine the effects of the sequester, or automatic spending reductions, on both general and non-war defense federal spending over the next ten years.