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Tax breaks are popular. They also cost the federal government more than $1 trillion a year.

May 24, 2024
In the debate over the debt and deficit, experts say tax breaks that skew toward the wealthy deserve as close a look as government spending.
“The IRS has basically been turned into not just a revenue-collection agency, but also basically a welfare agency having to give people goodies and tax breaks for all sorts of different things that they do," economist Gerald Prante says.
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Child care gets a boost in the new federal spending law, but advocates say it isn't enough

Mar 27, 2024
They say programs designed to help low-income families are only reaching a fraction of those eligible.
"We got this $1 billion increase that's going to help the [child care] programs that exist, but we need so much more," said the Century Foundation's Julie Kashen.
Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images

Economic issues at the annual CPAC meeting

Feb 19, 2024
At the annual meeting of right-wing thinkers, economic issues such as tariffs and government spending are expected to be discussed.
Former President Donald Trump is slate to speak at this year's CPAC and has already said he wants another round of tariffs.
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FDR's New Deal transformed the economy. Could Biden do the same?

We look back at a moment in U.S. history when the federal government remade its relationship with the economy.
President Joe Biden sits in the Oval Office in November. Above the fireplace is a portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Why the U.S. budget deficit grew so much in the last year

No surprise: Inflation, higher interest rates and the pandemic all play a role.
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Climbing 10-year Treasury yield signals costlier future for buying, borrowing

Aug 18, 2023
If the Federal Reserve needs to keep interest rates higher to continue battling inflation, 10-year yields will have to compete.
The Treasury Department is issuing a lot of bonds to pay for recent government spending. Above, a statue of Alexander Hamilton outside the agency's offices.
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We have a debt ceiling deal. So what happens next?

Jun 2, 2023
Now, agencies and Congress need to figure out how to implement the thing.
Congress will soon have to turn broad spending limits into actual appropriations bills for the next fiscal year.
Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

For public good, not for profit.

The debt limit deal would reduce government spending by about $1.5 trillion

May 31, 2023
Reduced government spending can have an impact on the broader economy. But economists say the effects will likely be limited.
"It does slow the economy, but not in a particularly meaningful way," said economics professor Justin Wolfers of the debit limit deal reached by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden.
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Public spending on preschool hasn’t gone up in two decades

May 18, 2023
A new report finds that funding has stagnated in the last two decades. Some states are trying to buck the trend.
Public funding for preschools has stagnated in the last 20 years. Some states like New Jersey are looking to change that.
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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.
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