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A comprehensive resource on what every American should know about how our government raises and spends our tax dollars

From history of the budget process to detail about the ongoing conflict in Washington, from charts explaining where every federal dollar goes to simple explanations of budget terminology, this book covers it all.

A People’s Guide to the Federal Budget is for every American who wants to understand and participate in a process that affects all of us. It serves as a foundation for the novice reader, a reference tool for a more advanced audience, and is perfect for high school and college classroom use. Released to coincide with the fiscal year 2013 budget process and the 2012 presidential election, this guide includes up-to-the-minute numbers and explanation of President Obama's 2013 budget request.

Ideally, the federal budget is a reflection of our values and our vision for the role of our government. The $3.7 trillion the government is planning to spend this year is mostly our money. We contribute about 60 percent of the government’s total revenues each year (not including borrowing) through individual income taxes and payroll deductions for such things as Social Security and Medicare. This means we are all stakeholders in the government’s decisions about how this money will be spent.

Understanding the federal budget is essential. Our elected representatives in Washington make choices that impact not just us, but our children, and our children’s children. We need to be in this debate, and be in it for the long haul, if we are to build the kind of government, and the kind of nation, that truly reflects our values.

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