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Stabilize the Debt: An Online Exercise in Hard Choices NEXT

how to balance the federal budget

Everyone has an opinion on what should be done about America's finances. Here's your chance to try out your ideas.

The long-term debt of the United States is rising to unprecedented – and unsustainable – levels. Under official budget projections, the public debt of the U.S. is projected to grow to about 100% of the economy by 2035 and nearly 150% and still climbing by 2050. Debt at these levels will threaten economic growth and the standard of living for all Americans.

Drastic action now could threaten the already fragile economic recovery, but failing to address our debt in the longer term would have serious repercussions, from lower wages to weakened investment to higher borrowing costs for families and businesses. Moreover, the longer we wait to put policies in place, the more deficit reduction will eventually be needed.

We need to establish an ambitious yet attainable fiscal goal and commit as a nation to achieving it. Public debt at 60% of GDP is an internationally recognized standard that represents a sound target for stabilizing the debt over the next decade. We should also look to reduce the debt further in the long term, toward the historical level of around

40% of GDP. See more about the reasoning behind this goal and explanations of items such as "Savings Relative to Current Law" on the FAQ page.

This simulation was designed to illustrate the tough budget choices that will have to be made and to promote a public dialogue on how we can set a sustainable fiscal course. How do your choices stack up? Good luck.


Stabilize the U.S. Debt at 60% of GDP by 2024.

To begin the simulation, click the "Next" button above. There are eight categories where your choices will affect the debt. Negative numbers next to a choice indicate how much the debt will be reduced, positive numbers add to the debt. Use the "Next" and "Back" buttons to navigate to each section; do not use your browser's navigation arrows. Click the "Done" button when finished making all the choices you want. The bar graph on the right will chart how your choices affect the debt-to-GDP ratio relative to the 60% goal. Visit the FAQ page for more on how the exercise works.

For more information on any choice simply click the icon to the left of that choice.

Category: Forex

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