Although the federal budget is the hottest topic in American politics, the details of the budget are not well known in the voting public. How big are specific line items, such as Social Security or foreign aid? What line items are discretionary, and which are mandated? How much money comes from or goes to particular states?
Budget Hero, a joint project of the Woodrow Wilson Center and American Public Media, is a browser-based game that gives players the opportunity to shape the federal budget. The game gives players “policy cards” that change the level of spending or taxation in specific areas. Players immediately see the effect of these choices on the deficit, national debt, and the size of the federal government.
Not only does Budget Hero educate players in the tricky and often misunderstood details of the federal budget, but it also gives people who disagree over the size of government or the value of federal projects more common ground on which to debate.