Creating useful transparency: How I learned to love sunlight and built the Spending Tracker

March 5, 2020
Next week is Sunshine Week, a “nationwide celebration of access to public information,” and it’s a rare point of agreement across the political spectrum that more transparency and accountability… Read More

The underfunding of the First Branch

March 4, 2020
Source: Demand Progress. From 1995 to 2020, spending on the legislative branch has lagged, according to a recent analysis by Demand Progress. Funding for Congress is a rounding… Read More

Budget wonk Jonathan Bydlak joins R Street Institute

March 3, 2020
Source: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ. This week, Jonathan Bydlak joined the R Street Institute to head its new Fiscal and Budget Policy Project. “Jonathan brings deep expertise in… Read More

ICYMI: Why $1 trillion deficits are here to stay

February 24, 2020
Between 2019 and 2049, the Social Security system will collect $56 trillion in payroll taxes and benefit taxes, and spend $75 trillion in benefits. That resulting $19 trillion cash shortfall… Read More

How much gets spent on the legislative branch?

January 31, 2020
The FirstBranch Forecast has done yeoman’s work to cull “all of the spending bills for the last quarter-century and lined up the spending items in a downloadable spreadsheet. Now… Read More

APSA congressional reform task force report

January 21, 2020
Download the report. Read More

Hearing on growing government, diminishing congressional capacity, and strengthening Congress

January 15, 2020
The Select Committee on the modernization of Congress held a hearing yesterday. The topic was “restoring capacity and equipping Congress to better serve the American people.” Posted below… Read More

Restoring fiscal conflict

December 9, 2019
Near the end of Ayn Rand’s dystopian novel, Atlas Shrugged, the discredited regime representing the United States Government announces the “John Galt Plan for Peace, Prosperity, and Profit” in a… Read More

When Congress was great: Reforming Social Security

December 3, 2019
Lost amid the impeachment fight and election contests, an epochal moment in the history of America’s welfare state is coming in 2020: For the first time since 1982, the Social… Read More

Checks and imbalances: Investment disparity between Congress and the presidency

November 19, 2019
Three coequal branches of government, each continuously serving as an effective check on the others. That was and is the theory, the ideal, and the goal of the American… Read More