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


National Debt? What’s That?

By Michael D. Tanner. National Review (Online). January 20, 2016.

The GOP’s Omnibus Spending Binge Will Undermine the Next President

By Chris Edwards. Reason (Online). December 18, 2015.

The Waste Awakens Never, to Sleep Again

By Doug Bandow. American Spectator (Online). December 15, 2015.

Cato Studies

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.

Fiscal Imbalance: A Primer

By Jeffrey Miron. White Paper. December 8, 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.

Public Filings

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.


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