"Nota Bene" means "note this well" or "take particular notice." We at the O'Quinn Law Library will be posting tips on legal research techniques and resources, developments in the world of legal information, happenings at the Law Library, and legal news reports that deserve your particular attention. We look forward to sharing our thoughts and findings and to hearing from you.

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-Spencer L. Simons, former Director, O'Quinn Law Library and Associate Professor of Law



Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Researching the Budget of the United States Government



While President Obama has been on the road, setting out his vision for the nation’s economy this week, White House officials have been meeting with Senate Republicans to start talks about next year’s budget. Two of the chief issues between the parties are whether to raise tax revenue, and how to best reign in the cost of Medicare.

The federal government’s fiscal year begins October 1 and ends September 30, and the President submits his budget for the next fiscal year between January and February.  The President’s proposed budget for 2014 will include deficit reduction, in accordance with the agreements made during 2012’s fiscal cliff negotiations. If you are interested in viewing the budget for next year, or past years, and additional budget information, here are some online resources to aid your research:

FDsys, brought to you by the Government Printing Office, provides digital access to official government documents from the three branches of government.  FDsys includes:

Budget of the United States Government: FY1996-FY2014
Budget Amendments and Supplementals*: FY2006-FY2013

Changes to the budget can only be requested by the President and these changes are called supplementals (for the current year) and amendments (for the next budget year). 

Federal Reserve Archive System for Economic Research (FRASER)/ http://fraser.stlouisfed.org

FRASER, the result of a partnership between the GPO and the Federal Reserve Bank St. Louis, maintains a database of each annual budget from 1923 to the present. The site also has numerous historical documents related to the Federal Reserve System, and a complete database of the monthly economic indicators from 1948 to the present.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)/ http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb

The OMB’s website includes historical tables, which show how the United States budget has changed over time, with respect to total receipts and outlays (1798-2018 projections), as well as other data that can be viewed throughout the years.  

Congressional Budget Office/ http://www.cbo.gov

The CBO produces cost estimates that analyze the likely effects of proposed legislation on the federal budget. The estimates are posted on CBO’s website in chronological order, and they are searchable by bill number, title, committee, and program area; each generally includes a description of the legislation, a statement about its estimated budgetary impact, and an explanation of the basis for that estimate.

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