Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

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Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Abbreviation CBPP
Formation 1981
Type Public Policy Think Tank
Headquarters 820 First Street, NE, Suite 510
  • Washington DC, United States
Robert Greenstein

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) is an American think tank that analyzes the impacts of budget policies from a progressive viewpoint.[1][2] It was founded in 1981, and is based in Washington, D.C. The Center describes itself as a "policy organization...working at the federal and state levels on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- and moderate-income families and individuals".[3]

CBPP is organized as a 501(c) nonprofit. Though it describes itself as non-partisan,[4] journalists have characterized it as liberal or left of center.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]


The Center examines the short- and long-term impacts of proposed budget and tax policies on the economy, on federal and state budgets, and on households in different income groups. It also examines whether federal and state governments are addressing critical priorities, both for low- and moderate-income Americans and for the population as a whole, and whether they have sufficient revenues to do so.[3]

In addition, the Center identifies approaches to reducing poverty. Specifically, it designs measures to make key programs for low- and moderate-income populations more accessible to eligible recipients, more effective in helping them meet their basic needs while moving toward self-sufficiency, and simpler for federal and state governments to administer. Moreover, the Center analyzes trends in poverty and income at the national and state levels, including trends in income inequality. The Center works on issues related to and including:

The Center runs an outreach campaign that—working with thousands of organizations across the country, including community groups, businesses, unions, and government agencies—helps eligible families apply for the EITC and the Child Tax Credit.

In 2007 the Center began to examine the impact of climate change policies on the federal budget and on low- and moderate-income households. Policies to address climate change will raise the cost of fossil-fuel energy, and the Center is designing policy options to ensure that these added costs do not increase poverty or hardship among low-income families. The Center is also producing analyses showing that climate-change legislation can generate enough revenue not only to protect low-income families, but also to address other needs related to the fight against global warming without increasing the deficit.


Based in Washington, D.C., the Center was founded in 1981 by Robert Greenstein, who continues to serve as executive director. In 2006 the Center had a staff of about 80 and an annual budget of about $16 million.[13]

In 1993, the Center helped to create the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative (SFAI), a network of independent, state-level think tanks that examine state budget and tax policies and their effect on low- and moderate-income households. SFAI groups produce analyses and conduct public education. As of 2008, SFAI groups existed in 31 states that, together, comprise three-quarters of the U.S. population.

In 1997, the Center established the International Budget Partnership (IBP) to help non-governmental organizations in emerging democracies and developing countries conduct budget analysis to make their budget systems more transparent and responsive. IBP initiatives include the Open Budget Index, the first study to rate countries on how open their budget books and processes are to their citizens.

Policy positions[edit]

On February 10, 2014, the Center released an article by Richard Kogan in opposition to changing the accounting procedures in the federal budget for government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), something the Budget and Accounting Transparency Act of 2014 (H.R. 1872; 113th Congress) would do. In the article, Kogan argues that the bill would make "federal loan and loan guarantee programs look more expensive to the federal government than they really are."[14] Kogan expresses his concern that due to the apparently increased costs of various programs, policymakers may react by raising taxes and cutting programs.[14] Kogan cites numbers from the CBO saying that 44 of the 100 programs that would be counted differently actually make money (through fees and interest), but 33 of them would look like they cost the government money under the bill's new counting requirements.[14]

Board of Directors[edit]

Name[15] Other Affiliations
Henry J. Aaron Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Kenneth S. Apfel former Commissioner of the Social Security Administration; Professor of the Practice, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland
Jano Cabrera former Communication Director, Democratic Party;[16] Managing Director, Burson-Marsteller
Henry A. Coleman Rutgers University, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
James O. Gibson Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Social Policy
Antonia Hernández President, California Community Foundation
Wayne Jordan CEO, Jordan Real Estate Investments, LLC
Frank Mankiewicz former Press Secretary to Robert F. Kennedy; former President of NPR; Vice Chairman, Hill & Knowlton
Lynn McNair Senior Director of Business Development and Resource Mobilization, Internet Society
Marion Pines Senior Fellow, Johns Hopkins University Institute for Policy Studies
Robert D. Reischauer former Director of the Congressional Budget Office; President Emeritus, Urban Institute
Paul R. Rudd Adaptive Analytics, LLC
Susan Sechler Managing Director, TransFarm Africa
Melanne Verveer Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
Kim Wallace Managing Director, Head of Washington Policy, Renaissance Macro Research
William Julius Wilson Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor and Director of the Joblessness and Urban Poverty Research Program, Harvard University


The Center is supported by a number of foundations, including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Ford Foundation, as well as individual donors.[17] It accepts no government support.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Terkel, Amanda (21 May 2014). "Paul LePage's Welfare Reform Adviser Plagiarized Report From Progressive Think Tank". Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  2. ^ LaMarche, Gara (13 August 2014). "How the Left Is Revitalizing Itself". The Nation. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: About Us
  4. ^ "Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Press Room". Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  5. ^ Calmes, Jackie (26 February 2009). ".75 Trillion Deficit Seen as Obama Unveils Budget Plan". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ Klein, Joe (23 April 2012). "These Savings Are Unreal!". Time. 
  7. ^ Sarah Kliff (13 December 2012), "A Supreme Court silver lining?: How Medicaid dodged the deficit debate", The Washington Post Wonkblog
  8. ^ "Obama Resists Spending Cuts, Risking U.S. AAA Rating", Investor's Business Daily 13 December 2012
  9. ^ Stacy Kaper, Liberal Think Tank: Debt Ceiling Is Biggest Threat National Journal 6 December 2012
  10. ^ Jake Berry (9 December 2012), "PolitiFact: Shaheen off on Social Security", Nashua Telegraph
  11. ^ Lowrey, Annie (11 February 2013). "Slower Growth of Health Costs Eases Budget Deficit". New York Times. 
  12. ^ "Wonkblog". The Washington Post. 
  13. ^ CBPP's Charity Navigator Listing
  14. ^ a b c Kogan, Richard (10 February 2014). "Altering Accounting for Federal Credit Programs would Artificially Inflate Cost, Raise Risks of Cuts". Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "CBPP: Board of Directors". Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  16. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ "A Powerhouse for the Poor", The Washington Post, 4 May 2007.

External links[edit]