Budget Basics Archive

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.
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.
Jun 26, 2018
Capitol Building
PAYGO is a budget enforcement mechanism intended to prevent passage of legislation that increases deficits.
Here are the top ten spending categories for the federal budget.
The fairness of our federal tax system is a hotly debated issue. While nearly all Americans pay taxes, the type of taxes paid is very different for taxpayers at different ends of the income distribution.
CBO plays a vitally important role in the federal budget process.
There is one cap for national defense and another cap for non-defense programs.
Jul 20, 2017
Capitol Building
Sequestration was designed to be a blunt instrument, whose arbitrary effects would be so undesirable that they would compel policymakers to reach compromise on budget legislation rather than allow the cuts to go into effect.
Reconciliation is a powerful process, whereby legislation drafted to meet those instructions has an easier path to passage.

Why Fiscal Issues Matter in the 2018 Election

This election season is a critical opportunity for candidates to talk to voters about solutions to put us on a better path.

FISCAL ISSUES ILLUSTRATED

This series of infographics helps put some of today's most pressing fiscal debates in context.