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The tyranny of averages, “deltas” and the need for some version of zero-based budgeting

February 9th, 2015

I’m trying to finish my book so this post will be briefer than it should be as it’s a weighty topic, but let me scratch out the idea as a marker to return to it. Reading much budget analysis of late, especially regarding spending levels and those unfortunate caps against which appropriators from both side… Read more

Sequester Watch, #32

November 26th, 2013

Our 32nd edition of sequester watch features stories about defense cuts, scientific research, and furloughs at a Portsmouth, NH shipyard. There’s also a lot of pick up of a piece by the Center for American Progress on how sequester cuts will be deeper in 2014 than 2015.  But then there’s this piece below (“negotiators working… Read more

Sequester Watch, #30 & 31

November 18th, 2013

We’re combining two weeks of SW, and an important theme as we head into next year is what does 2014 hold in store for agencies and their programs in terms of sequestration cuts?   Among those who think about such things, there’s sometimes an assumption that there will be “no new negative fiscal impulse.”  That is,… Read more

Sequester Watch, #29

November 4th, 2013

Sequestration continues to whack budgets, programs, and communities across the land.  The longer these cuts persist, the more they become the “new normal,” i.e., an accepted and expected component of future budgets/CRs.  It’s good to hear that the White House recognizes this danger and would like to see sequestration replaced.  But that will take compromise,… Read more

Sequester Watch, #28

October 28th, 2013

The sequester continues to indiscriminately whack away at everything from schools to space missions, so we continue to document the damage.  What’s notable is that the budget talks that are just starting may–and that’s “may,” not “will,”–find a way to offset some of these spending cuts over the next couple of years. As I wrote… Read more