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Federal Budgets and Fiscal Policy

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When Budgeting Was Easier: Eisenhower and the 1960 Budget (Occasional Paper)
Rudolph G. Penner

The paper looks back to time when budgeting was easier and budget outcomes were superior. Although it is impossible to replicate the past exactly, there are characteristics of past budgets that might be emulated. The focus is on Eisenhower's battles to balance the 1960 budget. At the time, almost all spending was controlled by annual appropriations, and popular, rapidly growing entitlements for old people were very much less important. The president's budget was much more influential. Approaches to gaining more control over entitlements are explored as is the more difficult task of restoring the influence of the president's budget.

Posted to Web: July 11, 2014Publication Date: July 11, 2014

Analysis of Specific Tax Provisions in President Obama's FY2015 Budget (Article)
Elaine Maag, Jim Nunns, Eric Toder, Roberton Williams

This document reviews several notable tax proposals in President Obama’s fiscal year 2015 Budget. These include expanding the earned income tax credit (EITC) for workers without qualifying children, expanding the child and dependent care tax credit for families with young children, conforming rules for self-employment contributions act (SECA) taxes for professional service businesses, and changing business taxes to create a reserve to fund long-run revenue-neutral business tax reform.

Posted to Web: June 30, 2014Publication Date: June 30, 2014

Changes in Tax Revenue Since 1929 (Article/Tax Facts)
Lydia Austin , Roberton Williams

This Tax Fact examines sources of federal and state & local tax revenue, from 1929 to the present. The composition of revenues at all levels of government changed dramatically with World War II, but has remained roughly stable since. At the federal level, payroll taxes have grown dramatically, and individual income taxes remain a major source of revenue. At the state and local level, sales and property taxes account for about one-third of revenues.

Posted to Web: June 16, 2014Publication Date: June 16, 2014

Five Steps to Pay for Success: Implementing Pay for Success Projects in the Juvenile and Criminal Justice Systems (Research Report)
John Roman, Kelly Walsh, Samuel Bieler, Samuel Taxy

This technical report provides an in-depth review of the PFS model, the state of the field, and the strategic planning and five-step process needed to execute high-performing projects. The report contextualizes the PFS framework within the model of existing state and federal legislation and notes key issues and obstacles that jurisdictions interested in pursuing the model will need to address.

Posted to Web: June 11, 2014Publication Date: June 11, 2014

Sharing Risk: How Pay for Success Can Make Government More Efficient (Fact Sheet / Data at a Glance)
John Roman, Kelly Walsh, Samuel Bieler, Samuel Taxy

This document describes the basics of Pay for Success (PFS), its advantages and disadvantages compared to traditional government financing, how a PFS-ready sector can be created, how to identify evidence-based PFS ready programs, the Five Steps to Pay for Success, and next steps in the PFS evolution.

Posted to Web: June 11, 2014Publication Date: June 11, 2014

Pay for Success and Social Impact Bonds: Funding the Infrastructure for Evidence-Based (Presentation)
John Roman, Kelly Walsh, Samuel Bieler, Samuel Taxy

This presentation provides an overview of how to use strategic planning upfront to develop PFS-financed projects that bring the most effective evidence-based programs to fruition. Once strategic planning is complete, jurisdictions should follow a five step process that uses cost-benefit analysis to price the transaction and a randomized control trial to evaluate impact.

Posted to Web: June 11, 2014Publication Date: June 11, 2014

An Overview of Pay for Success: Funding the Infrastructure for Evidence-Based Change (Presentation)
John Roman, Kelly Walsh, Samuel Bieler, Samuel Taxy

Understanding existing research evidence informs the selection of rigorous interventions, the local capacity needs to provide services, the pricing and performance targets for the PFS transaction and the evaluation expectations. This general overview of the strategic planning and five-step process needed to support high-quality PFS projects discusses current opportunities in criminal justice and highlights the model’s advantages and disadvantages.

Posted to Web: June 11, 2014Publication Date: June 11, 2014

The Federal New Starts Program: What Do New Regulations Mean for Metropolitan Areas? (Research Report)
Kate Lowe, Sandra Rosenbloom

On January 9, 2013, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published a new final rule for evaluating the applications submitted by metropolitan areas seeking major capital grants under the New Starts program. Despite the old guidelines, it appears that local characteristics, particularly local financial commitment, better explained the New Starts funding decisions between 1999 and 2011 than did Congressional influence or project justification. This new rule provides an opportunity to revisit the program’s design and grant evaluation process.

Posted to Web: April 01, 2014Publication Date: April 01, 2014

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