Imagine that you are an Economic Advisor to the President and need to provide a plan for reducing the federal debt. Conflicting goals create a need for compromise and tradeoffs to create a national budget while trying to remain under deficit limits. Follow the steps below to complete the activity, then respond to the questions posed:
Carefully read the background information and instructions before beginning the simulation. Your goal is to stabilize the U.S. debt at 60% of GDP by 2018.
When cutting programs, keep in mind that program cuts could seriously affect citizens’ daily lives. While it is easy to quickly reach deficit limits by making extreme cuts or even eliminating entire programs, try to consider the real-life ramifications of such cuts. Make sure to click on each budget area to access more information about it in weighing your decisions.
You do not need to provide your personal information at the end of the simulation.
After you have completed the online simulation, answer the following: What were the major changes you made to the budget to reach the goal? Why did you choose those changes over others – what were the trade-offs involved? How will the changes you made affect different groups of citizens? Do you think these changes would be politically feasible?