Thursday, September 4, 2008

Websites for Government Budget and Economics Information

Two good places to learn more about the fiscal and economic changes facing the US Government are the Congressional Budget Office's blog and the website of the Council of Economic Advisers. Bot contain reports, speeches and other useful economic analysis on a variety of economic topics written in a clear and professional manner.

The CBO Blog essentially summarizes the office's testimony and reports. It's a "Cliff's Notes" version of their work and written in pretty plain English. For example, here's a recent post on the problems facing Social Security:

the number of Social Security beneficiaries will grow considerably as the baby boomers become eligible for retirement benefits. Absent legislative changes, spending for the program will therefore climb substantially and exceed the program’s revenues. CBO projects that the 75-year actuarial imbalance in the program amounts to 0.38 percent of GDP, or 1.06 percent of taxable payroll.

The CEA publishes an annual report that contains chapters on a variety of topics. The 2008 edition contains chapters on housing, energy, tax policy and infrastructure, among others. If you want a "plain English" summary of the government's policies and challenges in those areas, it's an excellent place to start.

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