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American Government I – Week #2 Assignment 

Federal Budget Activity 

This week we learned about how laws get made by the legislative branch of our government. One of the biggest laws that regularly gets made by Congress is the Federal Budget.. The Federal Budget is a law that spells out how the government will spend its money. This is a huge power that Congress has that is often called, “The Power of the Purse.” If the 

Congress doesn’t give the government money to do something in the Budget, the government won’t have the resources do what it might want to do. 

Part 1 – Create Your Budget 

To create your budget, you must use the website: The Debt Fixer 

Note: if the CRFB Debt Fixer website is not working, you may use the Federal Balancing Act: An Interactive Budget Simulation website in its place. You are still required to turn in screenshots of your choices. 

Once you are at The Debt Fixer website and ready to begin click the “next” button. (Use the images below to help you navigate the site.) 

 

Begin to make your budget selections by selecting various check boxes. Click the “i” icon next to each line item if you want more information about any particular budget line item. 

  

Once you have sufficiently addressed each of the specific budget line items and arrived at the tab labeled “results,” click the printer icon beneath the text that says “Print and follow the on- screen instructions detailing how to export your results as a .pdf document. 

  

Do not forget to also submit your essay. You can upload multiple files in a single assignment submission. If you need help with this please contact your student advisor or instructor. 

It is strongly recommended that you use the Chrome or Firefox web browser for this activity. If you are having trouble getting your final results to display or are having difficulty exporting your final results as a PDF file, please try the following steps:
(1) Use the Chrome or Firefox web browser. 

(2) Take and upload screen shots of your budget selections to Blackboard along with your essay for this assignment.
(3) Contact your instructor to make alternative arrangements. 

Part 2 – Federal Budget Activity Reflection Essay 

In at least 500 words answer the following questions: 

 Provide a justification of the budget choices you made within one of the following categories: Defense, Domestic, Social Security, Healthcare (you may NOT choose to focus on the categories labeled: “Budget Path,” “Other,” “Revenue,” or “Tax Expenditures”). In this defense you must address possible counter arguments to the budget decisions you made. If you are spending more under this category how are you going to get new revenue or gain public support for more deficit spending? If you are cutting funds – what are you going to do with these surplus funds? 

  

  •   Discuss how this assignment impacted your understanding of the budget process, and the debates between the parties and within Congress have regarding the federal budget? Do you think anything should be done to streamline the current budget process?
     
  •   Discuss how difficult this would have been to do this activity as a group project – what budget issues would have been contentious? How could you have come to a compromise?
    Don’t forget to upload your pdf file of the budget as well as the text of your essay in your assignment submission. Both parts of this assignment at once must be submitted for grading.
    View your assignment rubric.
     

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