The national debate over federal spending has been hampered by a lack of accessible and reliable budget data. Budget debates involve numbers, and yet these numbers are vulnerable to creative slicing and dicing in order to prove one point or another. Exasperated taxpayers are left not knowing how exactly their tax dollars are being spent and what fiscal challenges America faces.
Before the nation can come together on federal budget solutions, it has to agree on the basic budget facts. This paper provides 11 pages of tables, charts, graphs, and bullet-point explanations of recent federal spending trends. Updated with the most recent 2005 budget estimates, most of the underlying data come directly from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Download Federal Spending: By the Numbers (PDF, 85 kb)
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Brian M. Riedl is Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.