How Would You Balance the Budget?

Published Feb 6, 2020. By The George W. Bush Institute.

An Essay and Reader Quiz by Robert Bixby, Executive Director of the Concord Coalition

In the coming months, candidates for federal office will offer many ambitious proposals. Some will argue for more spending and higher taxes. Some will argue for less spending and lower taxes. Some may even argue for higher spending and lower taxes. No matter what they promise, all of them will come up against some difficult math if they are elected.

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But what would you do?  

What are your priorities? What trade-offs are you willing to make, and how would it all add-up? To get some answers, you can take the Concord Coalition’s online Federal Budget Challenge. You’ll be able to choose from a range of options, all scored by the Congressional Budget Office. There are options to cut spending, increase spending, cut taxes, or increase taxes. There are an infinite number of options and variations, so the choices are limited to a representative sample. They will, however, give you a sense of proportion on both the magnitude of the problem and the extent to which various options can help close the gap.

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