Showing posts with label Federal Budget. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Federal Budget. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Putting Federal Debt In Perspective

I know that this could be a hot-button topic for some readers, but I'm not looking to start any kind of political debate with this post. The following video came to my attention through Adam Baker at Man vs. Debt. The video takes the topic of debt ceilings at the federal level and puts it into the context of an individual citizen's budget.


Applications for Education
When students (and some adults) hear talk about budgets in the billions and trillions can be hard for them to wrap their minds around what a change in budget means. This video might help students see budgets and borrowing in a slightly different light.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

US Debt Clock

Just how quickly is the US national debt accumulating? What about state debts? Get the real-time answers to those questions and more at USDebtClock.org. The US Debt Clock provides real-time information about the national debt including information like "debt per citizen," revenue sources, largest budget item spending, and interest on debts.

US Debt Clock offers options for viewing state debt information. The state debt information isn't as detailed as the information available for the national debt, but it still offers real-time updates for GDP, debt, and debt to GDP ratios.

Applications for Education
US Debt Clock could be a neat resource for teachers of Civics and Government. You could use the clock to introduce an activity in which students develop and propose ideas to slow the growth of the national debt. Keep the clock running throughout the time that students are developing and proposing their ideas. Then show them how much the debt has grown in the time it took them to develop and share their ideas.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Where Did My Tax Dollars Go? - An Interactive Visualization

Last Saturday I spent about six hours sorting through receipts and 1099 forms as I put together my 1040 for the IRS. As I watched Turbo Tax count up how much I was going to have to shell out on Monday, I couldn't help but grumble and wonder just how my money will be spent. The answer to my question about how US tax revenue is spent can be found in the entries to the latest Data Viz Challenge sponsored in part by Google and the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. The challenge was to create visualizations about tax revenue expenditures. The winner of the challenge is Where Did My Tax Dollars Go?

At Where Did My Tax Dollars Go? you can enter your gross income for the year and your filing status to see a break down of where your dollars went. The break down includes an interactive pie chart that you can click on to find a further break down of each category on the chart. For example if you click on the National Defense section of the pie chart you will see how many of your dollars went to the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Applications for Education
Where Did My Tax Dollars Go? is a great way to show students the many categories of expenditures that the federal budget has. If you have students that are working part time jobs, this could be a real eye-opener to see where the deductions from their paychecks are going.