I agreeto Idea Provide an online, visually interactive, one-stop-shop, federal budget website.
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Making Data More Accessible »

Provide an online, visually interactive, one-stop-shop, federal budget website.

Why Is This Idea Important?: This would provide a transparent, quick and understandable way for people like me (your average citizen) to see how Government manages its money.

A single website that allows users to interactively and visually explore the federal budget. The site should start out with basic high-level information about revenue, expense, deficit, and then allow users to click on a category of interest to drill down into the details and see precisely where money is being spent. Most people are not economists so the information should be basic but allow users the opportunity to get technical information if desired. The ability to drill down into the details of the budget through a simple point-and-click of the mouse is where the value of this system lies.

Submitted by Unsubscribed User 4 years ago

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(latest 20 votes)

Comments (21)

  1. Unsubscribed User Idea Submitter

    Oh now this is brilliant...

    4 years ago
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  2. Unsubscribed User Idea Submitter

    This would be the base of a larger system. Money is the key to everything political in Washington D.C.

    As legislation process starts, another process starts system concurrently that records all dollars, gifts, exchanges, on those who work on the legislation.

    Once the legislations is finalize we can total the costs of each bill by politician, lobbiest, and special interest.

    4 years ago
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  3. Important to have a diverse citizen advisory board (with many ways for citizens of various budget expertise to contribute) to guide the key features of the website and test its usefulness.

    4 years ago
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  4. Long overdue. See the National Budget Simulation for an early attempt.

    See Open Source Agency for an implementing idea that would embrace your own.

    4 years ago
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  5. Agreed, USASpending.gov is inadequate. Sure it outlines agency totals but it doesn't take it far enough. I want to see something more akin to standard accounting software or personal budget management for the whole nation, that also includes grants and contracts issued. Let us see how much was spent on stationary at the State department in March. Let us see how many travel expenditures a specific office at the EPA has claimed. Let us also see how well our actual spending reflects our planned budget. Lets get some custom charts and graphs, comparisons to historical activities, income streams, and accounts.

    Also, there must be a mechanism for feedback. A system like this must provide a way for citizens to make recommendations or informal votes in favor of one category or another. This would be a very powerful tool for everyone and provide leaders more insight into the desires and concerns of real people.

    4 years ago
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  6. As part of my submittal to the Citizens' Briefing Book some time ago I submitted an idea almost exactly like this one which got, by the end of voting, somewhere between 3800 and 4000 points (with each vote in favor giving it 10 points, each vote against taking away 10 points, and so on). My idea was to take USASpending.gov, which was a concept developed by then-Senator Obama -- now our President -- and to refine it by breaking out the various things into general categories (such as "defense") and allowing things to be broken down into visual subcategories showing total expenditures, so that each drop-down from the larger category would reveal smaller categories, smaller offices and divisions, and so on. And for each there should be a public comment and voting area so that people can literally comment on the budget over the course of the year (although there should be a date where voting and commenting stops each year to give the government time to digest all the data and comments submitted by the public, before they get into making decisions about the next fiscal year...)

    4 years ago
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  7. I suggested this 5 years ago and Sen Bill Bradley agreed.

    transparentfederalbudget.com

    Step one - citability.org

    make the budget citable on a line item basis. the current federal budget is useless. but if you also had the smaller dept as well citable you might be able to actually TRACK those dollars down to a useful level.

    4 years ago
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  8. These sites are currently available that do exactly what is asked:

    http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy10/browse.html

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/

    The public's ignorance of what splendid information their federal, state, and local governments already supply them is monumental. Go to the nearest public library to find out.

    ===>govtinfolibn

    4 years ago
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  9. I would add to the information that not only should it be identified as to where the money went and for what, it should also force compliance by the recipients to provide links to information on how and what the funds were actually spent on. In too many cases once the funds leave the federal level they wind up in general funds at the recipient level. General funds allow recipients to spend the money anyway they choose versus spending it on the intended purpose.

    4 years ago
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  10. Go to this site and try out Budget Hero

    Over 170,000 people have played the game.

    http://marketplace.publicradio.org/features/budget_hero/

    4 years ago
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  11. Good, but don't make it just the budget. Everything from government-funded data, to product recalls, etc. should be available in a friendly, easily searchable way. See the free, online TED talks of Hans Rosling's Gapminder and Tim Berners-Lee's Linked Data for ideas.

    4 years ago
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  12. It's fairly automatic if coupled with this one:

    http://opengov.ideascale.com/akira/dtd/3870-4049

    The same means used to generated the budget and line-items would then be used to track the expenditures.

    4 years ago
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  13. genius!

    4 years ago
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  14. You KNOW people in government have thought of things like this ever since the technology was available. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find 50% of them are dirty.

    4 years ago
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  15. Want to see the surplus money the US government and all states, local governments have? http://CAFR1.com and http://TaxRetirement.com

    and support Campaign for Liberty

    4 years ago
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  16. This post is popular but not nearly as popular as the posts asking for Obama to make his birth certificate, college record, health records and the like available.

    Count Birth Certificate comments here and you will get over 7,000 But, this site has been rigged so that the posts asking for Obama to support transparency by providing his own birth certificate, health records and college records are not properly counted, even when they do not get deleted. All of the multiple posts would not need to exist if the honest reporting of this site showed the number one request here is for Obama to release his records.

    I have done a personal count of more than 1,000 requests for his birth certificate. My analysis suggests there have been at least 7,000 request for Obama to produce his real birth certificate, college records, health records and other financial records.

    It is possible to review this site to find the most requested ideas by scanning "Top Rated" posts, but the requests for Obama's records do not show up as being top rated. Those runnig this site are cooking the results. If the results were honest people would be able to continue to vote on a single post asking for transparency of Obama's records.

    According to the liars running this website the most requested item has NOT been Obama's birth certificate.

    (My email is [email protected] - inlcude your email address if you want me to reply to you)

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  17. This post is popular but not nearly as popular as the posts asking for Obama to make his birth certificate, college record, health records and the like available.

    Count Birth Certificate comments here and you will get over 7,000 But, this site has been rigged so that the posts asking for Obama to support transparency by providing his own birth certificate, health records and college records are not properly counted, even when they do not get deleted. All of the multiple posts would not need to exist if the honest reporting of this site showed the number one request here is for Obama to release his records.

    I have done a personal count of more than 1,000 requests for his birth certificate. My analysis suggests there have been at least 7,000 request for Obama to produce his real birth certificate, college records, health records and other financial records.

    It is possible to review this site to find the most requested ideas by scanning "Top Rated" posts, but the requests for Obama's records do not show up as being top rated. Those runnig this site are cooking the results. If the results were honest people would be able to continue to vote on a single post asking for transparency of Obama's records.

    According to the liars running this website the most requested item has NOT been Obama's birth certificate.

    (My email is [email protected] - inlcude your email address if you want me to reply to you)

    4 years ago
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    0 Disagreed
  18. Google CAFR1 then you will see where the money is

    4 years ago
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  19. This starting point needs to drill all the way down to check registers.

    4 years ago
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  20. Beyond the check registers, all the way to the endorser who accepted the check!

    Transparency is key to change. Not much I can add here, but those who support this idea and perhaps many other ideas in this site would also support the "Funding New Ideas Pilots" because it is a means to fund the implementation of good ideas. The costs would be minimal for pilots, and it would prove or disprove the workability, and with proven workability it would be difficult many legislators to stand against them for permanent addition to the law.

    4 years ago
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  21. A very big mistake is being made here with the use of the word "budget". Budgets are selective grouping of accounts that are annually created for "the year". Government both local and federal have stashed away massive revenue, investments, and non-budgetary income coming in from enterprise and investment income whereby the collective totals "over decades" dwarfs any "budget" for the same local or federal government. Focusing on budgets is an illusion designed to keep the viewer oblivious to the true scope and size of the same government that presents that selectively created budget report.

    What is required is a website where the click and point will show "all investment balances", "gross income" of budgetary; enterprise; and investment income standing. Nothing excluded under penalty of a 1st degree felony. Collective US government, local and federal investment liquid "net worth" held both internationally and domestic is standing somewhere around 110 trillion dollars.

    ENRON promoted their profit and hid their debt. Government does the exact opposite. They promote their debt and hide their profit. Budgets are designed to show where tax income is collected and spent (1/3rd of the gross income) CAFRs (Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports) show the "budget" and all the rest (the other 2/3rdsf the pie). Local governments now produce over 134,000 separate CAFRs or AFRs (Annual Financial Reports) each year. That would be a good place to start with compiling "collective totals".

    Breech the void intentionally created in your comprehension due to the money and control involved. Look and learn!

    CAFR1.com

    4 years ago
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