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


Going Postal, Again

By Doug Bandow. The Freeman. March 2, 2015.

The Debt and the GOP

By Michael D. Tanner. National Review (Online). February 11, 2015.

Medicare and Social Security Tabs Coming Due

By Michael D. Tanner. Reason. February 6, 2015.

Cato Studies

The Federal Emergency Management Agency: Floods, Failures, and Federalism

By Chris Edwards. Policy Analysis No. 764. November 18, 2014.

How to Spend $3.9 Trillion

By Chris Edwards. Tax and Budget Bulletin No. 69. February 14, 2014.

Privatizing the Transportation Security Administration

By Chris Edwards. Policy Analysis No. 742. November 19, 2013.


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.

Rethinking Redistribution

Jeffrey Miron. National Affairs. Winter 2011.

Public Filings

Using a Compact to Amend the Constitution and Balance the Federal Budget

By Ilya Shapiro. Testimony. January 27, 2014.

Reducing Wasteful Federal Spending

By Chris Edwards. Testimony. January 9, 2014.

The Economic Costs of Debt-Ceiling Brinkmanship

By Daniel J. Mitchell. Testimony. September 18, 2013.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Tight Budgets Constrain Some Regulatory Agencies, but Not All

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

OMB’s Reported Benefits of Regulation: Too Good to Be True?

Susan E. Dudley. Regulation. Summer 2013.

Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget

Daniel J. Mitchell. Cato Journal. Spring/Summer 2013.


The Pentagon Budget: Prospects for Reform

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

Federal Budget Outlook: It’s Worse Than You Think

Featuring Chris Edwards and Daniel J. Mitchell. July 31, 2014. Capitol Hill Briefing.

At the Brink: Will Obama Push Us Over the Edge?

Featuring John R. Lott, Jr. and David Boaz. April 19, 2013. Book Forum.

Downsizing the Federal Government