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October 01, 2002

The Deficit's Back- So is the National Budget Simulation

Think you can do a better job on the budget than Congress?

Check out www.budgetsim.org/nbs/

Back in 1995, as Gingrich and Clinton faced off over the budget deficit, the UC-Berkeley Center for Community Economic Research set up a pioneering web game called the National Budget Simulation to allow people to try their hand at making budgets. Hailed by the media from THE NEW YORK TIMES to C-SPAN as a key tool for understanding budget decision-making, and used in classrooms across the country, the National Budget Simulation was a pioneering use of the web for political education.

With the end of the fiscal year, the new explosion of the deficit and new debates on spending priorities between military and domestic needs and whether to increase or decrease taxes, it was time to update the numbers for the 2002 budget and deficit.

The National Budget Simulation is located now at http://www.budgetsim.org/nbs/ and is now hosted at the web site of Nathan Newman, the original co-creator of the site along with Anders Scheiderman.

There are two ways to play the game: a simple version that challenges you to cut major categories of spending or eliminate tax loopholes and a longer version with sub-categories of spending. A graph will be produced showing the distribution of spending and tax expenditures in the main categories.

A new addition to the NBS is a category for the Bush 2001 tax cut. This can be increased or decreased as people feel tax rates should be adjusted. Some people may feel that with a recession, a new round of tax cuts are needed to simulate the economy, so this gives you that option as well as eliminating the tax cut altogether. In the long budget version, you have the option to selectively eliminate the tax cut for different economic groupings. This allows you to adjust the progressivity of the tax cut.

So have fun and spread the word.

For those who like to jump right in, go to the short version or the long version.

Posted by Nathan at October 1, 2002 09:20 AM

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Very cool. Just one question - are their any assumptions other than the "Why tax expenditures are treated like general spending in this simulation. " in the game?

Posted by: kevin at October 1, 2002 12:50 PM

Follow your dreams, you can reach your goals.

Posted by: shelly at March 5, 2006 07:12 AM

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