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


Congress and the Budget: Danger Ahead

By Michael D. Tanner. National Review (Online). September 1, 2015.

Wanted: Small-Government Republicans

By Michael D. Tanner. National Review (Online). July 29, 2015.

Coercion Is Bad Economics

By Chris Edwards. Reason. July 27, 2015.

Cato Studies

On the Desirability of Nominal GDP Targeting

By Julio Garín, Robert Lester, and Eric Sims. Working Paper No. 32. August 12, 2015.

Why the Federal Government Fails

By Chris Edwards. Policy Analysis No. 777. July 27, 2015.

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

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


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.

Public Filings

Cato Reviews & Journals

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.

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

Susan E. Dudley. Regulation. 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