Close the Gap: The U.S. Budget Deficit and You.

Apparently the U.S. Government came to an agreement about the federal budget for the next two years. Newly elected Republicans that promised to attack the deficit did well. The new agreement reflects $38 billion dollars in budget reduction. While the scary people who were voting to stop funding to Planned Parenthood, NPR, and the Environmental Protection Agency (the things that make America cool) did not get their way in entirety, I am sure that there have been some spending cuts that will not go unnoticed. But who will catch them?

They may not go unnoticed, but it seems they will go unexplained. After an hour of  google “research”, I still have no idea what the actual agreement entials. If I could find detialed informaiton about the budget, I proably wouldn’t make the time to understand it anyway, because I don’t really do math.

That’s where the New York Times steps in save the day. The Times isn’t a great place to look for great writing, or decent investigative reporting, but it is a great place to look for polls and other interactive journalism. Their “BUDGET DEFICIT” puzzle is pretty dang fun.  It’s a great way to pick up some basic knowledge about the way tax codes are currently structured, and the possible way they might change. It also gives you a relative idea of costs of our federal governments most contentious spending, and gives you a sense of what can even make onto the table. Do you know how many nuclear warheads the U.S. is keeping at this moment? Do you know what happened to the estate tax? Do you know who is more fiscally conservative, President Clinton, or President Obama? I learned all of this and more in a matter of minutes. And you don’t even need a calculator.

The coolest feature might be that it breaks down for you how much of the deficit you are reducing by cutting spending vs. raising new revenue.  Turns out I’m more of a social thrift than I knew.

At the end, if you solve the country’s problems, you are congratulated, and your plan is actually stored so that you can share it with your friends. Now I think examining how a bunch of cool young cats like yourself might save the day , so when you finish it, paste the link to your plan here on Fallopia so we can see your work. If we get enough, I’ll run a little cross-analysis of the data and see if anything fun emerges.

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~ by Vy on April 10, 2011.

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