Federal Budget Calculator

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New Federal Budget Calculator Offered by America Off Balance 

During January Danny Heil, a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, launched a new web site and federal budgeting tool that will be of special interest to state legislators.  American citizens who are concerned about America’s fast growing debt will also find it useful.

The site, called America Off Balance, is a very user-friendly blog-like posting subtitled “One Nation Under Debt”.  The site and its calculator were built by Heil in cooperation with John F. Cogan and John Raisian, both Senior Fellows at the Hoover Institution.  It is based on the premise that “America is facing a debt crisis”.  The easy-to-use step-through site makes clear the extent of America’s debt problem… and then gives the reader an opportunity to explore possible “fixes”.

During the site’s first month some 1,000 people experimented with The Budget Calculator, building their own proposed federal budgets in an attempt to avoid debt levels that exceed 100% of the nation’s GDP.  The Hoover team also plans to post at least weekly updates and supporting materials on its related Budget Matters site.

Heil says he hopes the new web site and calculator will be the start of a new conversation about America’s debt.  “People have been taking about this for a long time.  We talk about the problem, but we never get to what the solutions might be.  Rather than suggesting a specific solution, we let the user pick between a wide array of options.  We think that users will conclude that we have to reform entitlement programs.  The calculator allows users to think about ‘trade-offs’ related to various approaches.”

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