May 31, 2006

May 31, 2006 | News Releases on Federal Budget

"Book of Charts" Chronicles Out-of-Control Spending

Washington, May 31, 2006- Researchers at The Heritage Foundation have upgraded a vital offering-"Federal Revenue and Spending: A Book of Charts"-making it easier than ever to track the deteriorating condition of the federal budget.

The chart book, which debuted in 2003, features updated data and new charts that address projected federal spending. Researchers at Heritage, a Washington-based think tank, also have reconfigured several charts and graphs for even greater clarity. To view the new version online, go to heritage.org and enter "budget chart book" in the search function.

The chart book's easy-to-grasp comparisons of current, historical and future spending and revenues make it a data-rich resource for those interested in the understanding the budget process, from members of Congress and their staffs to reporters and public-policy students.

The charts have been prepared by researchers in Heritage's Center for Data Analysis, which houses one of the largest privately held collections of public policy-related databases in the nation, and Heritage's Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. The entire book may be downloaded in pdf or PowerPoint format, and each chart can be downloaded individually.

The section on federal revenue explains where the federal government has gotten its money since 1960, how those major sources of revenue have changed over the years and the growth in spending as measured per-taxpayer and per-household.

More ominously, the section on projected spending shows how spending has grown over the last 40 years and the bleak budgetary future that awaits if Congress fails to reform entitlements and rein in federal spending. Other charts illustrate how mandatory spending, if left unchecked, will squeeze out nearly all discretionary spending in the next 50 years.

"Those who need to know where the federal governments gets its money and how fast it spends it will find this site useful and the additions a nice improvement," says Alison Acosta Fraser, director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at Heritage. "It presents key data in a clear, easy-to-understand format that lets people see the urgent need for budget and spending reform."

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