From history of the budget process to detail about the ongoing conflict in Washington, from charts explaining where every federal dollar goes to simple explanations of budget terminology, this book covers it all. A People’s Guide to the Federal Budget is for every American who wants to understand and participate in a process that affects all of us. It serves as a foundation for the novice reader, a reference tool for a more advanced audience, and is perfect for high school and college classroom use. Released to coincide with the fiscal year 2013 budget process and the 2012 presidential election, this guide includes up-to-the-minute numbers and explanation of President Obama’s 2013 budget request.
About the Author
National Priorities Project (NPP) is a non-profit research organization that makes our complex federal budget transparent and accessible so people can exercise their right and responsibility to oversee and influence how their tax dollars are spent.
"Given the fateful budget choices we now face as a country, A People's Guide to the Federal Budget crucially helps all citizens understand the process by which those choices will be made and how we can all engage to ensure the best possible outcome."-Anthony W. Marx, President, New York Public Library
This primer on the complicated federal budget process is offered in readily understandable language for all readers- novices, those with more information, and high school and college students. The book clearly addresses such issues as discretionary and mandatory spending; how the federal government creates a budget; where the money comes from and goes; and the federal debt. In the foreword, author Ehrenreich reflects on the challenges people face in trying to make ends meet on meager paychecks or without a paycheck. Many individual lives are profoundly impacted by necessary safety-net programs for public assistance. Her priorities for helping working people include universal healthcare, better public schools, and affordable housing. Other important priorities include construction of roads and highways, law enforcement, and veterans' assistance. There is much disagreement about the role of the federal government, but it is imperative that all Americans understand its operations in order to effectively participate in our political process. This is a valuable resource for a wide range of library patrons.
"Nothing will change in Washington unless the American people demand it. 'A People's Guide to the Federal Budget' empowers Americans by explaining the inside-Washington game and offering tools to hold lawmakers accountable."
— Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration and best-selling author of Aftershock and The Work of Nations
"This year the president, the entire House of -Representatives, and one-third of the Senate are up for re-election...the officials we elect in -November will have the opportunity to reshape our country for years to come. If we're to have any hope of navigating the federal budget process and understanding the complex -decisions our elected officials will make in future years, we need this book. 'A People's Guide to the Federal Budget' is our way in."
— from the foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich, author of "Nickel and Dimed"
"Kramer (senior research analyst, National Priorities Project) here provides an understandable explanation of federal spending and revenues. The text explains why readers should care about the federal budget and how it affects them. It also breaks down technical language, e.g., mandatory and discretionary spending and revenue sources; 13 spending categories; how Congress and presidential administrations prepare budgets; nominal versus real dollars; fiscal and calendar years; departments that influence the budget and their acronyms, e.g., OMB, GAO, CBO, and CRS; budget creation chronology, beginning with the president, House and Senate action, their subcommittees' proposed appropriations, House and Senate reconciliations, and final presidential signature" Also included is a how-to guide readers can use to lobby their representatives. VERDICT : This book is worthwhile reading for all U.S. citizens... Of particular value for high school and college teachers... With a foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich."
"Understanding federal government operations requires understanding federal finances. This short book, produced by the National Priorities Project, provides an excellent foundation for anyone seeking an initial understanding. In a clear fashion, it goes through the basic numbers of federal government finances, expenditures, revenues, deficits, and debt; gives cogent explanations of some arcane terminology used in the system; and goes through the legislative process that determines spending and revenue choices. It provides short descriptions of the major laws that establish the choice process and briefly explains what the laws are supposed to do and why. The many graphs help show how spending, revenue, and debt have changed over the years. One chapter examines President Obama's 2013 budget (thus requiring revised editions). The book also includes an instruction guide for high schools... Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers and undergraduate students."