The federal government is spending too much, running large deficits, and heading toward a financial crisis. If government spending is not cut, average working families will face huge tax increases that dwarf anything seen in decades. Tax increases would damage the economy and be strongly resisted by the public. As a consequence, policymakers need to begin identifying programs in the federal budget that can be cut, terminated, transferred to the states, or privatized.

More on Federal Budget Policy


Don’t Fund Federal Job Retraining

By Chris Edwards. USA Today. June 5, 2016.

Junk Food Stamps

By Chris Edwards. Daily Caller. June 3, 2016.

How Trump Would Deal with the National Debt

By Michael D. Tanner. National Review (Online). May 11, 2016.

Cato Studies

Options for Federal Privatization and Reform Lessons from Abroad

By Chris Edwards. Policy Analysis No. 794. June 28, 2016.

U.S. Fiscal Imbalance over Time: This Time Is Different

By Jeffrey Miron. White Paper. January 26, 2016.

Effects of the Minimum Wage on Employment Dynamics

By Jonathan Meer and Jeremy West. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 40. December 9, 2015.


Infrastructure Investment

Chris Edwards. Policy Priorities for the 114th Congress. 2015.

Forget the Fiscal Cliff and the Fear the Debt Crisis

Doug Bandow. The Wainwright Perspective. February 21, 2013.

How Cutting Pentagon Spending Will Fix U.S. Defense Strategy

Benjamin H. Friedman. Foreign Affairs. November 2, 2011.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Work and Welfare in Europe

Policy Report. November/December 2015.

A Nation Wholly Free: The Elimination of the National Debt in the Age of Jackson

Chris Edwards. Cato Journal. Spring/Summer 2015.

Tight Budgets Constrain Some Regulatory Agencies, but Not All

Susan E. Dudley and Melinda Warren. Regulation. Fall 2014.


Reforming the U.S. Postal Service

Featuring Chris Edwards. June 29, 2016. Capitol Hill Briefing.

GO Beyond GDP: What Really Drives the Economy?

Featuring Peter Goettler. May 13, 2016. Policy Forum.

The Pentagon Budget: Prospects for Reform

Featuring Christopher A. Preble. March 16, 2015. Policy Forum.