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    Federal Budget Process: A Primer

    The budget of the U.S. Government is developed according to principles and statutory requirements defined by the Constitution and subsequent laws, including the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, which established the executive budget process, and the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, which defined the congressional budget process. Further federal budgeting laws followed to help the Congress and the President manage the budget process and enforce budget decisions.


    Taxes Primer

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    Where does the money come from?

    Each year, some of the revenue the federal government collects comes from various taxes. In 2012, taxpayers paid almost $2.5 trillion, which the government used to partially fund $3.5 trillion worth of spending on Social Security, health care, and other programs in areas such as defense and education. The remainder of spending was funded through deficits.


    Interactive: FY2015 federal budget timeline

    How does the government come up with its budget? PGPF has updated its interactive Federal Budget Process timeline for Fiscal Year 2015. The timeline includes key milestone dates during the full four-year process, including budget formulation in the White House and Congress and federal agency audits.

    For more detailed information, check out PGPF's Fiscal Issue Primer on the Federal Budget Process.



    Making changes to defense, health care and Social Security will help us reduce our debt, and also leave money to fund other critical responsibilities and invest in our future. But even though other spending programs (including agriculture, transportation, homeland security, education, unemployment benefits, national parks, international relations, and the operations of government) are occupying smaller and smaller portions of the federal budget, there are still opportunities to save money.


Fiscal Confidence Index

Survey: Modeled after the Consumer Confidence Index, the Fiscal Confidence Index is a monthly national survey that measures public opinion about the national debt.

The Tax Reform Opportunity

Video: Our tax code is complex, unfair, and insufficient. Learn more about the opportunity we have to reform and improve tax policy.