his week we look at economic policy. We learn about the annual deficit, the accumulating debt, and the differences between Monetary Policy and Fiscal Policy.

Each year the President and the Congress are supposed to work together to create a budget that funds the government and establishes new taxes and revenues. In recent years those budget negotiations have been increasingly hostile.

One side wants to stimulate the economy by providing government programs and jobs that will help people, while raising taxes on those in the top 1% of earners. The other side wants to cut the deficit by cutting government programs, with decreased taxes for the top 1% designed to stimulate job growth. The American people just want their leaders to fix the problem. In our discussion this week, we are going to do just that.

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Your task is to get the debt to 90% of GDP by 2031. Are you up to the task? You are given a list of budgeted items to keep, eliminate, or alter. What did you decide to do with each one?

When you have achieved this metric, return to this discussion thread and share your results. Discuss your views on the process.

What did you find it hard to cut?
What surprised you that you kept?
How do you justify the cuts that you made?
How do you justify what you kept?
What are the consequences (intended and unintended) of those programs that you cut?
If you were a politician running for re-election, would the budget that you created be popular with your constituents back home?

Here is how to reference the Budget Puzzle.

Committee for a Responsible Budget. (2019). The debt fixer. Retrieved from http://www.crfb.org/debtfixer/.

Here is how to reference your textbook, if you use it in this discussion:

Harrison, B., Harris, J., & Deardorff, M. (2019). American democracy now (6th ed.). McGraw Hill.

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