Budget Basics Archive

The defense share of the federal budget has averaged 21 percent over the past two decades.
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.
America faces a growing crisis. Our federal government has accumulated a $13.6 trillion debt over the last few decades, and this debt is expected to grow significantly in coming years.
In order to balance our budget and reduce the amount of debt the government takes on each year, we must match the level of government revenues with the level of spending.
The U.S. spent $187 billion on interest payments alone in 2009.
The Peter G. Peterson Foundation presents a primer on the federal budget.
Once we have a plan in place that reduces spending and increases revenues, a strong annual budget process for the government would help us stay on track.
Learn about steps you can take to help cure our fiscal ills.
What is a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and how would it work in practice?
The Byrd Rule restricts what can be included in reconciliation legislation in the Senate.

National Debt Clock

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


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