Fix The Budget

This task force gives students the responsibility of trying to reform the nation’s budget and relieving it of debt.

Task Force: Fix The Budget                            

Congratulations!

The Congressional Budget Office has assigned you to balance the nation’s budget and allow the United States to pay off its debt. You will be given a fake current budget and will be responsible for reforming it to ensure that after revenue from taxes is considered, you can decrease allocations to various departments to result in a balance of zero dollars.

Why Are We Doing This?:

This article by Jeff Stein discusses how the current pandemic has pushed the budget deficit to “unprecedented levels”. Given a mock breakdown of our current budget, you now need to think about a plan to implement a reformed plan for it so the United States can pay off its debt. 

Steps:

  1.     Closely analyze the mock budget and figure out what changes need to be made in order to balance it out.
  2.     Brainstorm reasons for why you chose to change each part of the budget (i.e. did you increase/decrease the amount of money allocated to the military or education? Why?).
  3.     Think about the possible objections that someone could have and how you would answer them.
  4.     Consider researching some countries that have allocated a similar proportion of their budget to each department and how it turned out for them.
  5.     Share with the group and see if you can convince them that the United States should adopt your budget plan.

Current Budget ($1 million): 

  • Military- $530,600
  • Food/Agriculture- $30,300
  • Education- $81,300
  • Government- $83,900
  • Medicare/Health- $77,800
  • International Affairs- $55,200
  • Energy and Environment- $53,600 
  • Science- $45,200
  • Transportation- $42,100

Assume we are collecting 750,000 in revenue from taxes:

    • How much money do you have to allocate for in a 1 million dollar budget?

 

  • Hint: Subtract 750,000 from 1 million. 

 

Things to Keep in Mind:

  •   You do not have to simply decrease the funds for each part of the budget. Consider which programs might need more or less funding. 
  •     Do you agree or disagree with your country’s current allocations for each department? 
  •   You don’t have to worry about answering all possible objections, but you should have some defense of why you think your allocations are properly divided amongst the departments.
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