Be a Budget Hero!


Do you have advice for the President on how to balance the federal budget?

Using MN Public Radio's Budget Hero you can attempt to balance the federal budget yourself. It is an easy tool to use to create your version of the federal budget.

Can you balance the budget next year? How about in five years? If not by then, what year were you able to balance the budget? Was it easier or more difficult than you expected? Share some of your thoughts with us...


I LOVE the MPR Budget Hero! I think it is a great way to engage people in understanding the nation's budget. Where I think it falls short is connecting budget decisions to their political implications. A president would have a much easier time balancing the budget if s/he didn't have to worry about Congress, elections, or appeasing particular lobbies and special interests. My balanced budget depends on delaying individuals' receipts from entitlement programs and repealing tax cuts - probably going to anger a few!

Thanks for the comment Michael.
Wouldn't it be interesting if one of the presidential candidates actually talked about the tough things that need to be done to lower the budget deficit, reduce the trade deficit, and strengthen the dollar.

I also really enjoyed the Budget Hero and feel it would have been much more challenging if it made some concessions for political feasibility. Maybe this is because I am a pro sales-tax Oregonian, with first hand experience of how knowing you need something doesn't mean it'll get done...

The national debt is something I have been thinking and worrying about a lot lately, especially as our economy is on the brink of a substantial recession or depression. What will this recession or depression mean to us? What will happen if Congress and the President do not decide on a plan soon?

I was speaking with a good friend who works in the MN state government, who informed me that if we do not figure out an economic plan soon, the credit system in our country will be non-existent. We will not be able to use our credit cards, take out a morgage, obtain loans, etc. This has the potential to be so harmful to our economy and our personal lives, that I have been inspired to look into the economy of our nation to a much greater extent.

This is why I was so excited to discover the budget hero, and really enjoyed going to the MPR website and creating different budgets. I think it is a great tool for people to use to begin thinking more directly about how their political and personal decisions have a wide impact in our nation.

Personally, my budget plan involves a lot of investment in education, as education, and specifically early education, has been shown to provide large returns on investments - sometimes returns of $5 for every $1 invested.

The financial crisis we are facing will add to the federal budget deficit. Either the Congress passes the so-called bail-out plan which will add to the deficit directly, or it doesn't and there is a credit-squeeze that reduces economic activity and reduces tax revenues worsening the deficit.
We need to put in place a long-term plan that will get the economy stabilized and then growing if we are really to reduce the deficit.

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Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs or the University of Minnesota. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota or the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.