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Balance the budget Rationale: Understanding US domestic policy is important for any informed citizen.

Learning about the economic policies and how decision are made will help students better understand the political world around them and how decisions are made. The budget is a large part of this domestic policy, if not all of it. Curriculum Frameworks: General Economics skills 24, US1.16, USG 1.2, USG.5.2 Learning Objectives: SWBAT: Understand and describe the budgeting process of the United States, Why certain things maintain a high level of spending. Describe how certain policies impact funding of governmental areas. Explain why a government might choose to borrow and deficit spend to fund certain programs. Teaching Methods: Role Play Procedure: Define: Regressive Taxes, Progressive taxes, Balanced Budget, Entitlements, Discretionary vs Non-discretionary spending. Explain the differences in importance of different areas of funding which include education, military, welfare etc. Game Rules: You need to balance the budget. You have 138 jelly beans of assorted colors these each represent about 10 billion dollars. You also have 10 red jelly beans. These represent deficit spending. Deficit spending is when the revenues collected do not pay for all of the programs needed. We fund this through borrowing money. We are going to: Group up: Design a set of policy areas that you believe have top billing. Order these in order of preference. These will be your priorities. Hand out jellybeans. You have a sheet that illustrates what each category needs to maintain federal funding status quo from the 2010 budget. You also have a sheet that shows Barrack Obamas suggested budget for this same year. I want you to be able to explain why you have put the jelly beans where you did. So reason through arguments of why you are cutting or enriching a program. Your goal is to balance the budget. No head out talk to each other and debate about where you will put the beans. Hand out the interest group sheets part way through the budgeting process that they After you have discussed the budget and settled your beans: Answer the Reasoning questions. End: I will hand out the list of Barrack Obamas budgets and compare them to your priorities.

Assessment: Reasoning questions behind why they chose the budget they did. Materials: Jelly Beans 415 of them, Cupcake rappers for beans to be put in, questions sheet http://www.jfklibrary.org/Education/Teachers/Civic-Education-Programs-and-Materials-ImageList/Federal-Budget-Simulation-Lesson-Plan.aspx

Group name _________


Function 1. National Defense 2. Education, Training, Employment & Social Services 3. Transportation 4. Income Security 5. Health 6. International Affairs 7. Administration of Justice 8. Veterans Benefits and Services 9. Natural Resources & Environment 10. General Science, Space & Technology 11. Community & Regional Development 12. Energy 13. 14. General Government Agriculture
# white chips final # of chips to start (white and red)

71 13 10 7 7 5 5 5 4 3 3 2 2 1 138

Total number of chips (white + red) used

Comparison of Obama 2010 Budget and 2011 Budget


Each chip equals approximately 10 billion dollars. Function
2010 2010 2011 2011 Number estimated estimated estimated estimated of chips total discretionary total discretionary in 2010 spending spending spending spending (in budget (in billions (in billions of (in billions billion of of dollars) dollars) of dollars) dollars) Number of chips in 2011 budget

15.National Defense

712.9

706.8

749.7

744.0

71

74

16.Education, Training, Employment & Social Services 17.Transportation

134.6

130.2

126.4

93.9

13

106.9

104.4

104.2

101.6

10

10

18.Income Security

547.5

69.9

595.0

73.8

19.Health

389.0

67.0

400.7

70.5

20.International Affairs

50.1

53.1

54.2

56.6

21.Administration of Justice

55.7

52.2

57.3

52.4

22.Veterans Benefits and Services

108.9

52.1

124.5

55.9

23.Natural Resources and Environment 24. General Science, Space & Technology 25. Community & Regional Development 26. Energy 27. General Government

43.6

42.6

42.5

40.6

32.9

32.7

31.6

31.4

28.0

26.4

32.0

30.4

22.1 24.4

24.1 21.3

24.9 27.7

21.1 21.7

2 2

2 2

28. Agriculture

26.0

6.5

25.6

7.0

Spending on these 14 categories

2282.6

1389.3

2396.3

1400.9

138

139

Reasoning Questions:

What programs did you choose to cut? Why did you choose to cut those programs over others?

How will the program cuts you have made affect specific groups (the elderly, students, environmentalists, the poor, foreign aid recipients)?

What programs did you choose to enrich? Why did you choose to enrich those programs over others?

How will the programs you have enriched affect specific groups (the elderly, students, environmentalists, the poor, foreign aid recipients)?

W rite a press release to be read by the Presidents press secretary, describing the reasons you have enriched these programs.

C. What are the tradeoffs you foresee in diminishing some programs while protecting or enriching others? What might be some of the political fallout of your groups decisions? How might you address this fallout?

D. Were there any arguments made by classmates during the budgeting workshop that surprised you? Why?