Why Non-Defense Discretionary Spending Keeps Getting Cut

The biggest difference among the three budget plans that official Washington is currently considering is spending for non-defense discretionary programs, which includes education, infrastructure, food safety, environmental protection and other essential public investments the public says it wants government to continue to make. A chart created by the Congressional Budget Office – shows the differences between President Obama and Senate Democrats’ budget plans versus the House Republican spending blueprint.

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The Lack of Jobs Is the Problem, Not Deficits

Budget deficits are shrinking at a breakneck pace now and will continue to do so over the next several years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which released its latest projections on the budget and the economy on May 14. Meanwhile, we have anemic jobs growth that’s worse than it should be, in large part because of all the extreme deficit reduction measures we’ve seen over the last few years.

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New Bowles-Simpson Deficit Plan Emphasizes Spending Cuts

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chairs of a presidentially appointed bipartisan commission that failed to reach agreement on a deficit reduction plan in 2010, released a new plan on Feb. 19 to reduce the federal deficit by an additional $2.4 trillion over the next ten years.  Most of the proposed new deficit reduction is achieved through spending cuts.

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Democrats Release Plans to Prevent Sequestration

On Feb. 14, congressional Democrats unveiled legislation that would cancel across-the-board spending cuts, called sequestration, which are currently scheduled to begin on March 1. The two bills include $120 billion in alternative spending cuts and revenue increases to offset the cost of canceling sequestration.

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Latest Economic Report Highlights Dangers of Further Austerity

The latest official estimate of U.S. economic growth, released Jan. 30 by the U.S. Department of Commerce, has provided further proof that budgetary austerity in the midst of a weak economic recovery makes little sense. Despite this, with Congress still considering further budget cuts and across-the-board cuts (called sequestration) scheduled to begin on March 1, there is little evidence that federal policymakers are aware of how much damage they may be doing to the economy.

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Administration Specifies Forthcoming Sequestration Spending Cuts

On Sept. 14, the Obama administration released a new report specifying cuts in federal spending that will take effect starting Jan. 2, 2013, if Congress does not take corrective action before then stopping the cuts from taking place. The report was mandated by the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 (P. L. 112–155), enacted on Aug. 7.

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Simpson-Bowles 2.0

The leaders of a bipartisan panel that unsuccessfully pushed forward a deficit reduction plan last year are quietly meeting behind the scenes to lay the ground work for another push after the November elections, according to an August 17 report in the National Journal.

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Possible 2013 Budget Cuts to Be Specified Within a Month

The outlines of a broad set of possible cuts in federal domestic and defense-related programs in early 2013 should become more clear within the next month.  Under new legislation signed into law on Aug. 7, called the Sequestration Transparency Act, the Obama administration must lay out how an expected $109 billion in cuts will be implemented in 2013 unless Congress takes action to delay or stop them.

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America Would Know Less Under House Census Policy

Since 1790, Americans have used the Census as a tool to understand who we are and where we stand as a nation. However, our ability to gather this crucial data would be crippled under a bill recently passed by the House.

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DATA Act Comes to House Floor

During this period of political gridlock, it's rare to find a bipartisan legislative initiative that we can enthusiastically support. But tomorrow, the House of Representatives will vote on just such a bill, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act). The DATA Act would greatly enhance federal spending transparency, bringing new datasets online and helping standardize reporting across the government.

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