Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Federal Budget Puzzle - Interactive Challenge

Turn on any cable news network talk show and you'll hear plenty of pundits putting forth their ideas for fixing the federal budget. But which ideas or combinations of ideas will work best is hard (impossible?) to determine. So that you can try your hand and fixing the federal budget The New York Times offers an interactive budget puzzle. Budget Puzzle: You Fix the Budget presents users with the projected budget shortfalls of 2015 and 2030. Users then have to make selections from a long list of budget cuts and or tax increases to close the shortfalls.

Applications for Education
One way that the Budget Puzzle could be used in a classroom is to have students try various combinations of cuts and tax increases to close the budget shortfalls. After developing what they think are the best solutions you can have students debate the merits of each other's plans.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Economics Lessons Using Planet Money Podcasts
Captains of Industry - Economics Simulation Game
Interactive Bills and the History of the US Mint