FY 2020 Federal Budget

Users are introduced to the Federal budget overall, get some background on the federal budget deficit, and evaluate arguments about what the priorities should be in regard to the federal budget.

FY 2020 Federal Budget Policymaking Simulation
 Discretionary Budget

  • Users are presented the discretionary budget (the part of the budget that Congress sets every years) broken into 31 line items (e.g. transportation, education, defense etc.), and have an opportunity to raise and lower each one as they see fit.  As they go along, they receive immediate feedback about the impact of their changes on the budget deficit.

 General Revenues 

  • Next, users assess arguments about what priorities should be for federal taxes.  Then they get the opportunity to set tax rates for all of the major taxes including income taxes (they see the various options and set what they think the level should be for each income bracket) corporate taxes, capital gains and more.  Users also get to evaluate newly proposed taxes such as a tax on financial transactions or on carbon dioxide.  Once again, as they go through the simulation, they are able to immediately see the effect of their choices on the deficit.Users are presented the discretionary budget (the part of the budget that Congress sets every years) broken into 31 line items (e.g. transportation, education, defense etc.), and have an opportunit
FY 2020 Federal Budget

Social Security Reform

The Social Security policymaking simulation needs to be conducted in its entirety as it is an integrated experience.

First you’ll get a background briefing on Social Security, weigh a range of proposals that Congress is considering, together with pro and con arguments for each, and then pick a package of reforms that makes the most sense to you. In the end, you will make your final selections in an integrated spread sheet, receiving instant feedback about the impact of your choices on the Social Security shortfall.

You will have the opportunity to evaluate options for:

Social Security Reform Policymaking Simulation
  • reducing the Social Security shortfall
  • options for raising benefits for some populations
  • changing the way that cost of living adjustments are made
Social Security Reform

Addressing the Medicare Shortfall

In this simulation, you will learn many interesting things about Medicare so your recommendations about how to address the Medicare shortfall will be well informed. This simulation will take about 25 minutes to complete. Everything you will see has been reviewed by experts and Congressional staffers, both Democrats and Republicans, so you can be assured that it is factual and balanced.

You will have the opportunity to evaluate options for:

Addressing the Medicare Shortfall  Policymaking Simulation
  • whether to encourage the use of generic drugs
  • whether to increase outpatient deductibles
  • whether to raise eligibility age
  • whether to reduce payments to drug companies
  • whether to reduce payments to hospitals to equalize with doctor’s offices
  • whether to increase Medicare payroll tax rate
  • whether to increase Medicare premiums for higher earners
  • whether to limit medical malpractice suits
  • whether to lower Medicare’s subsidy to teaching hospitals
  • whether to limit how much Medigap can cover
Medicare Reform