Budget Basics Archive

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.
Earmarks have been controversial, but nevertheless were reinstated by Congress in 2021 after a 10-year moratorium.
Climate and weather-related natural disasters are becoming increasingly frequent. In addition to endangering lives, they are economically costly.
The economy goes through cyclical movements over time, with periods of growth followed by downturns. To help improve responsiveness to fluctuations in the business cycle, a number of important programs in the federal budget automatically increase or restrain spending depending on economic conditions.
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.
A Congressional Budget Resolution is a “blueprint” that guides fiscal decision-making in the Congress.
Understanding what’s happening on Capitol Hill requires an understanding of the Congressional budget process — which is notoriously technical, complex and arcane.

Bipartisan Policymaking under Divided Government

We asked experts with diverse views from across the political spectrum to share their perspectives.

National Debt Clock

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