BFS Online Tool Simplifies Federal Spending Topics

Americans are interested in learning about how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. But what they aren’t interested in are jargon, acronyms and budget terms that fly freely in government reports.

That’s what the Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS) learned last summer when preparing to develop a new online tracker of federal revenue and spending. Before writing a single line of code, officials visited the National Mall and asked the public what questions they have on federal finances.

Based on their feedback, BFS developed an interactive tool called Your Guide to America’s Finances that collects real-time data on popular questions in four areas: federal spending, revenue, debt and the deficit.

The website breaks down complicated topics and sky-high dollar amounts that are often hard to comprehend for any American, particularly those of us not in finance.

For example, in 2018, the $4.1 trillion in federal spending equated to $130,000 per second, while the government collected around $105,000 in revenue each second. The site explains how this gap impacted the federal debt and deficit.

NTEU is proud to represent BFS analysts, auditors and program specialists, and recently negotiated a new four-year agreement at the agency that protects and builds on their workplace rights and benefits.