Category Archives: Budget and Spending

Debt Limit 101

Congress has voted to suspend the debt limit through March 15, 2017. But how could future lawmakers address this issue in order to save the federal government money and avoid future disruptions? Today’s WatchBlog examines the debt limit. What is … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Contracting during a Disaster: Lessons Learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy

When disaster strikes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency can help. But FEMA doesn’t do it all on its own. The agency contracts for goods, like meals and cots for disaster survivors, as well as services, like translators and housing inspectors. … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Designing and Implementing Federal User Fees

Navigating the federal budget can stump even the savviest of wonks. One of the things that complicates federal budgeting is the variety of ways the federal government collects money. Today’s WatchBlog examines one significant, if lesser known, source of federal … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Podcast on Debt Limit Approaches

The debt limit is a cap on the amount of money that the Department of the Treasury can borrow to meet the nation’s financial obligations. Delays in raising this statutory limit can have broad implications for the entire financial system.

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , ,

Calling on Agencies to Take a Closer Look at Their Phone Bills

Think of your phone bill. Even if you don’t scrutinize it every month, you probably check to make sure the charges seem reasonable or to see if you can get a better deal, especially when your contract is up. Now … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our Quick Look at Homeland Security Acquisition Programs

We recently released our “quick look” at Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acquisitions, assessing 22 major programs created to help secure the border, enhance cyber security, improve disaster response, and execute a wide variety of other operations. The good news? … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Projecting the Future of Federal Finances: Long-Term Fiscal Simulations

Since 1992, we have prepared long-term fiscal simulations to show federal deficits and debt under different sets of policy assumptions. Our latest update shows that the federal government continues to face a long-term fiscal sustainability challenge.

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , ,

Our Annual “Quick Look” at DOD’s Weapon Programs

Last week, we issued our annual review of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) major weapon programs. This review assessed 78 programs that will cost a combined $1.4 trillion to acquire. Read on for highlights of our latest DOD “Quick Look” … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fiscal Exposures: 5 Sources of Risk that Drive Future Spending

In tandem with today’s release of our audit of the federal government’s fiscal year 2014 consolidated financial statements, we want to highlight our work on fiscal exposures. This is a term that describes services or expenditures that Americans may expect, … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Podcast on GAO’s State and Local Fiscal Outlook Model Update

State and local governments nationwide face long-term fiscal sustainability challenges. Since 2007, GAO has published simulations of fiscal trends in the state and local government sectors. Explore the state and local fiscal outlook model, and hear our podcast with Michelle Sager, … Continue reading

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,