Setting National Priorities: a federal Budget Simulation Special Interest Group Requests



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Setting National Priorities: A Federal Budget Simulation

Special Interest Group Requests


  1. The first group that has requested additional funding is a military consortium from the Defense Department. This is their statement:




  • The main function of the federal government is defense. We understand that the economy is fragile, but it will only suffer more if we do not protect ourselves from foreign dangers.

  • In order to maintain world peace, we must stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan. This will require a large number of U.S. military personnel to remain abroad for extended periods of time, incurring a significant cost.

  • Nuclear weapons are a real threat to us from places such as Iran and North Korea. We need to make sure we can control any disturbances from those countries.

They are asking for an increase in our defense budget of 50 billion dollars. (This would be 5 chips that you would add, either by taking them from other programs and/or adding red chips—which would mean deficit spending, or borrowing money to pay for these programs.)




  1. The second group that has requested additional funding is a Healthcare Association. This is their statement:




  • We are so close to finding cures for hundreds of deadly diseases. Money invested in medical research could save millions of lives.

  • The Center for Disease Control needs additional funding to help protect our country against possible pandemics and biological terrorism.

  • The Food and Drug Administration is currently underfunded and cannot ensure the safety of all our food and drugs.

They are asking for an increase of approximately 30 billion dollars. (This would be 3 chips that you would add, either by taking them from other programs and/or adding red chips—which would mean deficit spending, or borrowing money to pay for these programs.)



  1. The third group that has asked for your attention is a group calling themselves “Concerned Young Workers.” They are requesting that you limit deficit spending in your budget. This is their statement:





  • It may seem like an easy thing to borrow now, but there are consequences. In a few years, we are all going to have to pay back the interest on the borrowed money you have spent.

  • We are new workers in the workforce, and we are concerned that we will have less and less money to live on, since you may be taking more of our money to pay back the debt you have incurred.

  • In January, the Congressional Budget Office projected a deficit for FY 2010 of $1.35 trillion.

  • We understand that when the economy is weak, deficit spending may not only be
    necessary, but may also be beneficial. However, we are afraid that our reliance on deficit spending to fund programs will continue during the times when the economy is stronger.


They have requested that you be careful with deficit spending in your budget. They would like you to use a minimal number of red chips.


  1. The fourth group that has asked for your attention is an Alliance of Educators and Trainers. This is their statement:

  • Schools are suffering from lack of funding, and those particularly hurt are children in poor communities. Education reform needs funding. It costs money to make schools accountable for their performance. It costs money to hire good teachers and pay them what they are worth.

  • Private and public colleges are both getting outrageously expensive—we need to help students with more student loans and greater access to public universities.

  • With the shift in our economy from manufacturing to services, more and more workers need to be trained to go into new careers. We need significant funds to pay for this retraining.

They are asking for an increase of approximately 30 billion dollars in this area. (This would be 3 chips that you would add, either by taking them from other programs and/or adding red chips—which would mean deficit spending, or borrowing money to pay for these programs.)


5. The fifth group that has requested additional funding is the Global Alliance for International Affairs. This is their statement:


  • Our world is getting smaller. What happens in another part of the world now directly affects everyone.

  • Countries in crisis should be able to receive some help from us—because their stability allows for the stability of the world. People in need are desperate people.

  • We can help spread goodwill to other countries so that we minimize the number of terrorists who hate us and are ready, willing and able to kill innocent Americans.

  • Our economy is becoming more and more dependent on the economic well being of other countries. It is in our economic interest to foster good relations with our allies and help them grow.

They ask for an increase of 20 billion dollars in area. (This would be 2 chips that you would add, either by taking them from other programs and/or adding red chips—which would mean deficit spending, or borrowing money to pay for these programs.)




Prepared by the Department of Education and Public Programs, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum



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