How Does the Federal Government Spend?

Most all of us at one time or another have complained or at least wondered about how the feds spend our hard earned tax money. We’ve all heard irritating stories about the Pentagon spending absurd amounts on mundane objects (here is an old LA Times article from 1986 on the topic of overspending in the Pentagon in particular mentioning a $7,622 coffee maker), pondered how the president spends his vacation time or had concerns about some other use of the public coffers that may be wasteful. After all, we don’t want our money spent frivolously or for some unethical government contractor to take advantage of such a huge, difficult to manage entity as the budget of the United States.

That’s where www.usaspending.gov/  comes in. As billed by the site itself: “USAspending.gov is the publicly accessible, searchable website mandated by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 to give the American public access to information on how their tax dollars are spent.”

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Masthead

So you can check on this information in multiple ways. As one example, you may see how much money is spent in the state of Tennessee.

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State of Tennessee

It can be broken down in various ways as well. As can be seen here Davidson County receives well more than 1/3 of the just over $40 billion allocated to the state for Fiscal Year 2017, with a figure of $15,351,958,126. The next county, Shelby, receives $1,620,940,881, and is the only other county to receive $1 Billion or more.

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TN County Breakdown

 

 

There are many more ways to look up information beyond state by state breakdown. This site is just waiting for your curious fingers to enter new search terms or click on the numerous links on the site.

Paying for College

http://www.consumerfinance.gov/payingforcollege/costcomparison/

Paying for College is a new website from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It helps students calculate on a worksheet how much they would owe in student loans after graduating from college. A cost comparison guide on 7,500 different colleges and universities is provided. Estimated debt after going to school is listed. Average Grants and Scholarships are calculated into the price. Information on graduation and student loan default rates are also mentioned.

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4a)

http://www.n4a.org/

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging supports 629 Area Agencies on Aging nationwide.  From this website you can find answers to commonly asked questions regarding senior citizens.  There are also several downloadable brochures available on topics such as “Staying Connected:  Technology Options for Older Adults.”  In addition, the N4a offers the Eldercare Locator which helps find resorces for caregivers as well as older adults on topics such as financial assistance, housing options, and transportation.

FAFSA Changes

Big changes for FAFSA this year…

The 2008-2009 FAFSA form will not be distributed in bulk as it has been in previous years.  This means, we will no longer have paper FAFSA forms to distribute.

Students who wish to obtain a FAFSA application at the library will now have two options:

  • FAFSA on the Web (www.fafsa.ed.gov) – This is the preferred method of submitting the FAFSA application.  We will still be able to order the FAFSA on the Web worksheets to distribute.
  • PDF version of FAFSA – Students will be able to download and print out a PDF form at www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov beginning November 15th. The form can be mailed in to the address given.

Students may order up to three (3) copies of the paper FAFSA for individual use by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID.  They should receive their copies in the mail in three to seven business days.