Public Agenda

Where Does the Money Go?

Your Guided Tour to the Federal Budget Crisis

Scott Bittle and Jean Johnson

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

The battle over the federal budget is on, and it's not just an inside-the-Beltway argument. The rising national debt -- and what we choose to do about it -- will affect your savings, your retirement, your mortgage, your health care, and your children. How well do you understand the government decisions that will end up coming out of your pocket?

Here is essential information that every American citizen needs—and has the right—to know. This guide to deciphering the jargon of the country's budget problem breaks down into plain English exactly what the fat cats in Washington are arguing about. Where Does the Money Go? lays out the ideas put out from the left, right and center, explores why elected leaders have so far failed to address this issue effectively and explains what you can do to protect your future.

The updated edition includes new sections on:

  • So whose fault is it? President Obama or President Bush?
  • The stimulus and Wall Street bailouts: Did they help or hurt us?
  • Health care reform: Will it bankrupt us, or is it the first step in controlling costs?

  • The book is available both in stores and online.


    Scott Bittle is an award-winning journalist, policy analyst and Web producer who has written extensively about the federal budget, energy, and foreign policy.

    Jean Johnson writes frequently about public opinion and public policy and is the author of You Can't Do It Alone, a book on how parents, teachers, and students see education issues.

    Both authors are senior fellows at Public Agenda and blog frequently for
    The Huffington Post, National Geographic, and other outlets.