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Fiscal Service Launches New Citizen’s Guide to U.S. Government Finances

April 15, 2019

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service) today released Your Guide to America’s Finances. The purpose of the digital guide is to increase public awareness of the federal government’s finances by translating the complicated aspects of federal finance into a simple, straightforward, and engaging product.

Beginning in June 2018, the Fiscal Service began a 10-month process of gathering data about what the public would like to see in an overview of the federal government’s finances. To connect with Americans and understand their viewpoints, the Fiscal Service conducted over 200 in-person interviews with members of the public. This new citizen’s guide, which has been re-branded as Your Guide to America’s Finances, is being released on April 15 to coincide with Tax Day.

In a user-friendly format, the guide presents a comprehensive overview of the trillions of dollars processed by the federal government each year. The guide aims to help Americans understand the core financial concepts of revenue, spending, deficit and debt, and the part these concepts play in the overall financial operations of the United States.  Each section of the site is broken out by key concepts and their relationship to the larger financial picture. Website visitors will see the source of funds, where the money goes, trends over time, how the U.S. compares to other countries, and more.

“The guide was created in response to feedback from the public, who said they want information that is accessible, presented in plain language, and has engaging, interactive visualizations,” said Fiscal Service Commissioner Kim McCoy. “Our team interviewed citizens across the country to get their opinions about their familiarity with, and interest in federal finance, and what they would find useful.”

USAspending.gov and its sister site datalab.usaspending.gov promote transparency in government by providing spending data available to all citizens. Using a storytelling approach combined with data visualizations, site visitors can dig into federal spending data across a variety of topics including homelessness analysis, competition in federal contracting, and much more.

For more information about the Guide, USAspending,gov or the DataLab, please visit datalab.usaspending.gov/Americas-finance-guide. To learn more about the Fiscal Service, visit fiscal.treasury.gov and follow us on Twitter@FiscalService.

Last modified 04/15/19