Budget Basics Archive

Climate and weather-related natural disasters are becoming increasingly frequent. In addition to endangering lives, they are economically costly.
Although the need for serious, long-term changes to the funding structure of the Highway Trust Fund is clear, there is disagreement over the approach to do so.
Medicare is an essential health insurance program serving millions of Americans, and a major part of the federal budget and our fiscal outlook.
Social Security is the largest single program in the federal budget and makes up approximately one quarter of total federal spending.
Most working Americans are subject to payroll taxes, which are usually deducted automatically from an employee’s paycheck. Employers are also often subject to these types of taxes.
Federal trust funds bear little resemblance to their private-sector counterparts.
The fairness of our federal tax system is a hotly debated issue. Too often, however, those debates confuse or misrepresent important facts because they focus on one type of tax in isolation rather than the various taxes that people face in aggregate.
Estate and gift taxes are levied on the transfer of assets. Two areas of the tax code that are relatively small in dollar terms, but can generate a significant amount of attention and even controversy in the broader conversation about wealth.
The earned income tax credit (EITC) is a measure administered through the tax code to address poverty. It was first enacted in 1975 on a temporary basis amid broader debates about welfare reform and had the primary goal of encouraging people to obtain employment.
The child tax credit (CTC) is a measure administered though the tax code that is designed to make raising children more affordable by easing the financial burden faced by families.

Understanding the Coronavirus Crisis

Key fiscal and economic indicators as the nation responds and recovers.

National Debt Clock

See the latest numbers and learn more about the causes of our high and rising debt.