Federal Spending

Thinking About Tomorrow

How large is the federal government's debt? The figure most likely to be reported in newspapers is the debt held by the public. This measure currently stands at $6.3 trillion and is rising. However, t…

Green Schools Don’t Make the Grade

Congress is considering funding a range of projects designed to reduce carbon emissions, including the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act, which would provide $20 billion…

Increasing America’s Domestic Fuel Supply by Building New Oil Refineries

Rising oil and gasoline prices have many causes that are beyond the control of the U.S. government.  However, government policies have contributed to higher prices by reducing domestic refining capaci…

Chile's Answer to Rising U.S. Disability Costs

Americans are living longer and are healthier than previous generations, yet the number of workers receiving disability benefits is increasing. In fact, disability is the fastest-rising component of S…

How Generous Are Social Security and Medicare?

Without changes, Social Security and Medicare will grow relative to the earnings and compensation of the workers who fund the programs. Further, the rate at which these entitlement benefits replace pr…

Deficits and Taxes

The president's budget for fiscal year 2005, which starts October 1, 2004, projects that the deficit will be cut in half as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2010. After record deficits…

How Large Is the Federal Government's Debt?

Social Security and Medicare have made future promises far in excess of tax revenues that will be collected at current tax rates. The difference between what has been promised to current and future ge…

Wasting Billions on Unemployment Insurance Overpayments

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) system erroneously pays billions of dollars to people who do not qualify. These overpayments equaled 9 percent, or $3.7 billion, of the $41 billion paid to laid-off wor…