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Can you build a sustainable federal budget?

Mar 8, 2023
"The Fiscal Ship” game demonstrates public policy trade-offs that go into government budgeting.
The home page for "The Fiscal Ship," a game meant to help players better understand federal budget tradeoffs.
Screen capture taken March 7, 2023

Why comparing government and household spending doesn't quite work

Feb 16, 2023
It's like comparing apples and oranges, professor Golnaz Motie says, because the government has many more tools and huge immediate obligations.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has compared the federal debt ceiling to a household's credit limit.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

At the Federal Games Guild, video games and public policy play together

Feb 14, 2023
Want to balance the federal budget? A video game lets you do it. Elizabeth Newbury of the Federal Games Guild and Wilson Center explains.
"You're not going to get the same thing from reading a 25-page policy brief as you'll get from a game, but more people — I bet — will play my game," the FGG's Elizabeth Newbury says.
Courtesy Department of Education

Biden faces economic obstacles beyond the pandemic's burdens

The list includes dwindling trust funds for Social Security and Medicare and potential bubbles in the housing and stock markets.
Biden will confront "headwinds unlike those that have ever been faced by any modern president," says Eugene Steuerle of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.
Mark Makela/Getty Images

DOJ designates New York, Portland, Seattle as “anarchist jurisdictions”

Sep 22, 2020
The Trump administration is threatening to pull federal funding from the cities, which it says “have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities.”
There have been more than 100 days of protests in Portland, Oregon, over systemic racism and police brutality.
Allison Dinner / AFP via Getty Images

A short-staffed IRS is trying to reform

Mar 3, 2020
The IRS is trying to modernize its computer systems and improve customer service — with a smaller budget and workforce.
The Internal Revenue Service Building in 2008.
Shashi Bellamkonda

A president's budget can signal campaign priorities in an election year

Feb 10, 2020
Budgets offer a chance to project good times and appeal to certain constituencies.
President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Orlando, Florida, to officially launch his 2020 campaign on June 18, 2019.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

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The GOP lost the budget fight ... again

John Harwood of CNBC explains why Republicans "support spending cuts in theory" but have a hard time getting there in practice.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, above, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., negotiated a budget deal this week that increases federal spending.
Juan Mabromata/Getty Images

Should low-income workers without kids get expanded tax credits?

May 31, 2019
An expanded earned income tax credit has been floated by a number of Democratic presidential hopefuls.
New tax season, new rules but same amount of refund?
DNY59/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Can Congress fix the broken process that governs government spending?

Nov 29, 2018
A bipartisan committee has spent nearly a year trying to come up with a better way to do things
The U.S. Capitol is seen in Washington, DC on Jan. 22, 2018 after the U.S. Senate reached a deal to reopen the federal government, with Democrats accepting a compromise spending bill.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images