United States Budget Game

I found this "game" really fascinating.

Make a federal budget and compare your budget with other budgets made by people in your demographic group, or other demographic group. It's put together American Public Media, the big operator of public radio stations, with relatively authoritative numbers from the Congressional Budget Office, etc..

The interface is kinda dumb, but if you push through it, it's an interesting high-level view of US government spending. You pick from an array of cards that let you affect the budget by implementing different policies, and you try to earn badges that reflect your political values.

Taken as a game, it's easy to min/max, and cut everything that doesn't get you a badge, but taken seriously it's a pretty good tool. Go play, and see what badges you earn, and how far out you push the budget bust. Then come back and put your results in the comments.


  1. My badges:

    Energy Independence
    Competitive Advantage
    Health and Wellness
    Bust year: 2061

  2. I did Green, Competitive Advantage, and Health & Wellness, and was able to get the bust year to 2070+. Go me.

    I was kind of a dick when it came to taxes though. And I was mean to old people. :)

  3. Holy mackerel, "Limit Bush tax cuts to neediest" sure goes a long, long way. I wouldn't have expected that I would actually have ended up shrinking the size of the government.

    I picked Safety Net, Economic Stimulus, and Competitive Advantage, and was able to earn all 3.

    My bust year was 2064.

    I didn't understand how "Offer gov't health care plan to all" could be so cheap, especially compared to the alternatives.