Category Archives: Budget and Spending

A Tax Reform State of Mind

The tax code is complex and can create burdens for people and companies. And change does not come often. The last time the tax code was overhauled was in 1986. So what (if anything) should be done to reform it? … Continue reading

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Actions for New Leaders – Our Priorities for Policy Makers App

Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States just a few days ago and the 115th Congress took office earlier this month. The new administration and Congress are taking shape, and will soon begin … Continue reading

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A Check-Up on the Government’s Fiscal Health

After 6 years of declining deficits, the federal deficit increased to $587 billion in 2016 and U.S. debt held by the public stood at about $14.2 trillion at the end of 2016. These figures are only expected to grow. The … Continue reading

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Getting a Good Deal — How to Do Federal Contracting Right

Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Economics for their contributions to contract theory—which looks at how contract incentives help resolve conflicts of interest between parties. And, as anyone who’s hired a contractor knows, ensuring that … Continue reading

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Preparing the Next Leaders

The elections are over and new leaders are assembling staff, setting priorities, and preparing to tackle major issues facing the nation. What do these leaders and their staff need to know to hit the ground running in January? Our Management … Continue reading

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Priority Recommendations

Every year we make hundreds of recommendations to federal agencies on ways to improve government operations and reduce costs. With so many opportunities for improvement, agency heads and other policymakers may have trouble deciding where to start. We’ve got plenty … Continue reading

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Priorities for Policy Makers – Our App for Government on the Go

The election is over. The transition is here. But how will new executive branch leaders and new congressional staff decide where to start? As policymakers shift gears from campaigning to governing, they need to quickly learn about their new positions … Continue reading

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Following the Money: The Audit Trail

You may remember from your elementary school civics class (or our previous Watchblog posts) that Congress allocates the money that executive branch agencies use to carry out their work. But who makes sure these agencies are spending this money correctly? … Continue reading

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National Save for Retirement Week

The U.S. population is changing and so is retirement. Boomers are aging, traditional pensions are shifting to voluntary contribution plans, and Social Security faces important financial challenges. Planning—and saving—for retirement is more important than ever. For National Save for Retirement … Continue reading

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Funding What Works (infographic)

A new policy tool called “tiered evidence grantmaking” allows federal agencies to award smaller amounts of grant funding to test promising ideas, and larger amounts to replicate practices with a proven record of success. How exactly does that work? Scroll … Continue reading

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