Tax Policy Center

government spending

Individual Taxes: TaxVox
Government redistributes income through tax and spending programs. Nearly everyone pays some tax – be it federal or state income taxes, payroll taxes, or sales taxes. The tax system also affects people by delivering a host of benefits through tax expenditures (subsidies like the mortgage interest
December 5, 2013Elaine Maag
Federal Budget and Economy: TaxVox
Max Baucus and Dave Camp, leaders of the Senate and House tax-writing committees, are on the road promoting tax simplification. One goal: cleaning out the mess of deductions, exclusions, credits, and other tax breaks that complicate the code. Done well, such house cleaning could make for a simpler
July 8, 2013Donald Marron
Federal Budget and Economy: TaxVox
The latest chapter in Washington’s never-ending fiscal drama is about to play out in tomorrow’s sequester--a word most Americans should never have had to learn. For all the partisan noise about these automatic spending cuts, it is important to keep in mind that they are both relatively small and
February 28, 2013Howard Gleckman
Federal Budget and Economy: TaxVox
Everyone trying to sort out the fiscal cliff deal is getting hopelessly tangled in budget baselines. Are taxes going up? Or are they going down? There is an easier way: Forget the multiple baselines. Just look at what is happening to total spending and total revenues. My Tax Policy Center
January 3, 2013Howard Gleckman
Federal Budget and Economy: TaxVox
My recent post on government size prompted several readers to ask a natural follow-up question: how has the government’s role as employer changed over time? To answer, the following chart shows federal, state, and local employment as a share of overall U.S. payrolls: In July, governments accounted
August 6, 2012Donald Marron
Federal Budget and Economy: TaxVox
Politicians and pundits constantly debate the size of government. Is it big or small? Growing or shrinking? You might hope these simple questions have simple answers. But they don’t. Measuring government size is not as easy as it sounds. For example, official statistics track two different measures
July 31, 2012Donald Marron
Federal Budget and Economy: TaxVox
When we talk about the federal budget, we usually rely on the government’s official definition of “spending” which is to say the amount of money that’s run through federal agencies. But, in reality, the federal government spends a lot more than that. Using a broader definition of spending, which
March 26, 2012Howard Gleckman