Budget Simulation Project Introduction

Budget Simulation Project Introduction

Our federal budget simulation project is designed to let you do research on specific, predetermined research topics.  For this project we will be using an online budget simulator:


It tells you exactly what areas to research/learn about/write about.

Your goal is to reduce the budget to 60% of GDP by 2024. Also, for our class, you won’t be penalized if you reduce the budget to not quiet 60% of GDP by 2024.
You will write a detailed, evidence backed-up explanation of why you balanced your budget the way you did in paragraph form. Do not use bullets to present your information.

How to use the Budget Simulator
1.  Go to http://crfb.org/stabilizethedebt/ Click on and read all the information about
Stabilize the Debt: An Online Exercise in Hard Choices

2.  Read the FAQ page

3.  Look at the bar graph on the right side of the main page.

4.  Click on the Next button.
That will take you to the Choose Budget Path page.
Click on any budget category to get more information/assumptions about that budget category.  That information will display on the right side of the page. As part of your research (see #4 above), you will be able to update the budget numbers.

5.  After you read about all the choices in a category, click one of the choices.  A big red checkmark will appear in the white box you check.  This software application requires you to click on one choice in each category, so you will click in three white boxes and will see three red checkmarks.

6.  Click on the Next button.
That will take you to the Defense, Diplomacy and Security page
Make your choices about increasing, reducing, or maintaining the budget on that page.

7.  Click on the Next button.
That will take you to the next page, and so on.

There are eight (8) pages of budget choices:
Budget Path (yes, Budget Path is a confusing name that we have to cope with)
Defense, Diplomacy, and Security
Domestic, Social, and Economic
Social Security
Health Care
Other Spending
Tax Expenditures

8.  When you are finished reading about each category and making choices in this budget simulation, click the Done button.

This will take you to your Results page.

You might also be asked to give information about yourself and to join an online discussion.  Don’t.  That isn’t part of this course assignment.

9.  If you didn’t reduce the budget, go through steps 1 through 8 above again.

Note: We are not using this budget simulation application because it discusses liberal, conservative, or any other politics. I expect you to agree, disagree, partly agree, or partly disagree with the assumptions in this budget.  We are using it because it is easily accessible and because it is free.

Format of written report
Your report should include
a) introduction
b) background research on each category you research
In your report you will write about each category you researched. You will write at least one paragraph about each category. Each category will have a separate subheading in the report. So, if you researched 15 of the categories, this section of your report will have at least 15 subheadings with at least one paragraph under each subheadings.
c) discussion on your research and your research conclusions
In this section you are answering the question “What did you learn?”
You will explain in-depth decisions you made and why you made them.
d) appropriate graph/chart
You will include some kind of graph/chart that presents important information from your final budget and balancing report. You will create your own graph/chart, either automatically as you use the online budget simulator (most students do this) or with a graph-creating software such as Excel (a few students do this). YOU WON’T USE A GRAPH YOU FIND ONLINE OR IN ANOTHER RESOURCES OTHER THAN THIS http://crfb.org/stabilizethedebt SITE.
This graph must be a bar chart or column chart. You can’t include just numbers with no bar chart or column chart. You may take a screen shot of the chart that playin the budget simulation gives you, paste that into a Word document, and post that as your chart.
e) annotated bibliography (IMPORTANT!)
You will include an annotated bibliography with your report. You will include all the sources you used. I won’t be able to grade your report if it does not include an annotated list of sources. Also, you MUST cite your sources
Whenever you use quotes,
Whenever you paraphrase,
Whenever you use an idea that someone else has already expressed
Whenever you make specific reference to the work of another.
at the end of each sentence.
Omitting citation in your writing will be considered as plagiarism and violation of Academic Honesty.

How to write an annotated bibliography?
When you write your required annotated bibliographies, you will comment on how useful and appropriate your sources were. Some will help you more than others. When you use Internet sources, you will assess those websites for content and ease of use.

Consult these sources to learn more about writing annotated bibliographies:

The University of Wisconsin-Madison tells you how to write an annotated bibliography


Cornell University also explains how to prepare an annotated bibliography