Task Force: Fix The Budget
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.
- Closely analyze the mock budget and figure out what changes need to be made in order to balance it out.
- 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?).
- Think about the possible objections that someone could have and how you would answer them.
- Consider researching some countries that have allocated a similar proportion of their budget to each department and how it turned out for them.
- 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.