Monday, May 20, 2013

Budget Crisis

Nitti, Tony. "The Fiscal Cliff for Dummies." Forbes. October 30, 2012. Accessed May 20, 2013. 

Weisman, Jonathan, and Matthew L. Wald. "G.O.P. Claims Victory as Bill to Curb Flight Delays Passes." New York Times. The New York Times, 27 Apr. 2013. Web. 20 May 2013.

What should be cut in the federal budget?

Scenario: The U.S. Congress is struggling to fund projects they deem important and yet members are also concerned about the mounting debt the U.S. is accruing. What do you recommend? Select one of the following topics and, with a partner, research its contribution and costs to society. Then debate whether the current funding should be retained, increased, or reduced. Each partner should take a different position. Present your debate to the class and use an effective Power Point presentation to illustrate your points.

Possible topics

  • War in Iraq
  • War in Afghanistan
  • Social Security/Medicare
  • Education
  • Medicaid/Health care reform
  • Welfare/Housing/Food
  • Infrastructure/transportation
  • War on terror/national (homeland) security/CIA
  • Science R&D
  • Foreign aid
  • Energy/environment
  • Farm subsidies
  • Arts
What you should include:
  • Describe topic
  • Summary of program
  • Current status
  • % of federal budget
  • Rationale for expenditure
  • Reason for cut

NEW!!! Kate O'Hanlon did some investigating and created these pie charts! Be sure to thank her! Link to her spreadsheet

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To find this information, Kate followed the instructions below:

"What I suggest instead is that you collaborate to create an accurate one. Divvy up the topics, get verifiable numbers for 2010, so that you are comparing apples to apples, enter them all in a spreadsheet and make the graph! Just get your class' strongest math student to input the data, and make the graph while the rest of you go get the information. A great starting point it the federal Office of Management and Budget, but this is also an excellent opportunity to write/call your local congressperson."

I provided a forum below for you to share your research and collaborate.

Consult your NCHS planner (p.41) for school, not personal user name and password

  • Roper iPoll (public opinion survey) Tutorial
  • ABC-CLIO (government, & country studies)
  • Global Issues in Context (international relations)
  • ProQuest Platinum (current news)
  • PowerSearch (current news)
  • CultureGrams (country studies)
Useful US defense spending links Ms. Russo dug up (beware of bias - the publisher or author's, not ours!):

Citing sources:

Keep track of your sources as you go! Consult the Citing menu on

New! Tips from New Canaan (town) Library!
Budget crisis forum (you need to log in to Moodle)

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