Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Where My Money At?


One perk of subscribing to the Wall Street Journal is that you get to order (for free) annual reports from companies that you may do business with or (more commonly) own stock or stock options in. Well, how would you like to be able to tell where your tax dollars are going? Are they going to buy $500 toilet seats? Are they going to bomb bomb bomb... bomb bomb Iran (with apologies to John McCain)?

There is a new web site out, http://www.usaspending.gov/, that shows you exactly what the federal government is doing with your money. Why was this site created? The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act) requires a single searchable website, accessible by the public for free that includes for each Federal award:

  1. The name of the entity receiving the award;
  2. The amount of the award;
  3. Information on the award including transaction type, funding agency, etc;
  4. The location of the entity receiving the award;
  5. A unique identifier of the entity receiving the award.
While there are certain restrictions to this site (like, for instance, a prohibition against data mining the site), there is lots of information for those of you who are actuarially inclined.

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