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


Trump Is Right Not to Spend for the Sake of Spending

By Ryan Bourne. UK Telegraph Today. June 9, 2017.

Is an Allowance for All Americans as Crazy as It Sounds?

By Michael D. Tanner. The Hill (Online). June 2, 2017.

How Paid Family Leave Hurts Women

By Vanessa Brown Calder. May 30, 2017.

Cato Studies

Would More Government Infrastructure Spending Boost the U.S. Economy?

By Ryan Bourne. Policy Analysis No. 812. June 6, 2017.

Who Owns U.S. Infrastructure?

By Chris Edwards. Tax and Budget Bulletin No. 78. June 1, 2017.

Options for Federal Privatization and Reform Lessons from Abroad

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


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

Cutting Federal Spending

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).

Special-Interest Spending and Corporate Welfare

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).

Cultural Agencies

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).


Major Tax Reform in 2017?

Featuring J.D. Foster, Jason J. Fichtner, Chris Edwards, Ryan Bourne, & Peter Russo. May 15, 2017. Capitol Hill Briefing.

Cutting Wasteful Spending in the Trump Administration

Featuring Chris Edwards. November 30, 2016. Capitol Hill Briefing.

Economic and Financial Issues Facing the Next President

Featuring Chris Edwards and Mark A. Calabria. September 26, 2016. Policy Forum.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Energy Subsidies

By Chris Edwards. December 2016.

Privatizing Amtrak

By Chris Edwards. October 2016.

Agricultural Subsidies

By Chris Edwards. October 2016.