Bankrupting America Launches Spend It Or Lose It Campaign

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Bankrupting America Launches Spend It Or Lose It Campaign
Petition To End Washington’s Harmful Budgeting Process and Wasteful Spending

Arlington, Va. – Bankrupting America, a project of Public Notice, today announced the launch of its new Spend It Or Lose It campaign taking a stand against the broken federal budgeting process and the incentives it creates for wasteful spending. The campaign will include an online petition calling on Washington to revamp the budgeting process and stop wasting tax dollars by rewarding fiscally irresponsible behavior.

The federal government has a spending problem, and that problem is rooted in the “spend it or lose it” budget process. Agencies’ budgets for the next fiscal year are determined by what they used the year before, regardless of how wisely the money is spent. If they don’t spend it all, they risk receiving a smaller budget for the next year.

The result is a mad dash to spend remaining funds at the end of the fiscal year. This year-end spending spree has been documented by Harvard Kennedy School Professor Jeffrey B. Liebman, who notes “a sharp drop-off in investment quality” during this period. The government itself is aware of this practice, which acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Danny Werfel recently called a “major problem.”

That’s why Bankrupting America is launching this campaign in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year—to bring attention to wasteful government spending and to call for a solution to the systemic problem in Washington of “spend it or lose it.”

Public Notice Executive Director Gretchen Hamel issued the following statement regarding the campaign:

“Our Spend It Or Lose It campaign takes a stand against the wasteful spending policies ingrained in the federal budget process, and Bankrupting America is asking others to stand with us by signing the petition. With nearly $17 trillion in federal debt, Americans are fed up with the status quo in Washington of overspending our hard-earned tax dollars. It’s time for fiscal sanity. We’re advocating for accountability, transparency and increased oversight in government spending to put a stop to this abusive practice.”

Spend It Or Lose It will be a full-scale campaign to provide facts about the history of the broken budgeting process and the latest egregious examples of wasteful spending and will run through Sept. 30, the last day of the fiscal year.  Throughout different phases of the campaign, Bankrupting America will use web videos, online advertising, social media and additional online interactive components to highlight the problem and urge lawmakers to find solutions.  In addition, the petition will specifically call for increased transparency and accountability, a rollover of funds to promote taxpayer savings and increased oversight across all federal agencies.

  • Click here to sign the Spend It Or Lose It Petition and take a stand against Washington’s broken budgeting process.
  •  Check out the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #CutItOut.
  • Click here to learn more about the history of “spend it or lose it” budgeting and here for a full weekly breakdown of government spending from 2010-2012.

To schedule an interview, please contact Public Notice Press Office at (571) 970-6490 or e-mail

### is an educational project of Public Notice, an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to providing facts and insight on the effects public policy has on Americans’ financial well-being.

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