Students Try Budget Balancing Act

Published Feb 11, 2018. By Michael Abramowitz.

Anyone in Congress might be able to produce a sensible federal budget and cut the national debt — if they didn’t have to answer to their constituents. That was the hard lesson a group of ECU students and community budget watchers learned Saturday at a mock budget session.

East Carolina University’s Department of Political Science and The Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan grassroots organization that advocates for fiscal responsibility, gave about 40 interested students and other political junkies the opportunity to try their hand at creating a budget during a Saturday workshop at The Croatan on the ECU campus. . . .

Phillip Smith, the Concord Coalition’s national political director, said his group tries to work with Congress to establish a long-term plan for tackling the budget and the national debt.

“Today is a chance for the Congressman (Walter) Jones’ constituents to tell him what they would do if they were in his shoes,” Smith said. “But we want it to be an educated recommendation, so we give the constituents some of the same type of information he has access to via the Congressional Budget Office.”