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Can you build a sustainable federal budget?

Kai Ryssdal and Maria Hollenhorst Mar 8, 2023
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The home page for "The Fiscal Ship," a game meant to help players better understand federal budget tradeoffs. Screen capture taken March 7, 2023

Can you build a sustainable federal budget?

Kai Ryssdal and Maria Hollenhorst Mar 8, 2023
Heard on:
The home page for "The Fiscal Ship," a game meant to help players better understand federal budget tradeoffs. Screen capture taken March 7, 2023
HTML EMBED:
COPY

At an event in Pennsylvania this week, President Joe Biden will unveil his administration’s budget proposal for the coming fiscal year. 

Both congressional Republicans and the White House have pledged to reduce the federal deficit, but doing so while still furthering their policy goals requires trade-offs. 

The Fiscal Ship, a game produced by the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution and the Serious Games Initiative at the Wilson Center, demonstrates that challenge by letting players make their own federal budget proposal. 

“Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal played it with the help of Hutchins Center policy director Louise Sheiner. “We want people to realize that when we talk about taxes and spending and the numbers and the debt, that is not just about the numbers,” Sheiner said. “You really do have a choice about how you want society to run.”

Click the audio player above to hear their conversation or go to fiscalship.org to play the game yourself.

Clarification (March 9, 2023): This page has been updated to reflect that the Serious Games Initiative is part of the Wilson Center.

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