YES, YOU CAN!
(Balance the Federal Budget)
Give it a try!
Most of us could probably do a better job than the current batch of politicians in Congress.
Here are the major categories of revenues and expenditures in the President's
2012 budget from OMB (Office of Management and Budget).
All you have to do is to find the right mix of increased revenues and decreased
expenditures to bring us closer to a balanced budget for 2012,
while still keeping essential services intact.
Who knows- it may be easy for you. Good luck...
1. Some expenditures are very important to a large number of voters. Cutting them
will provoke a strong backlash. This will quickly end your political career.
Although this calculator will allow you to cut those categories, you will see a flashing red warning if you try to do it!
2. We would like the budget to be balanced, with a deficit of 0. However, during a
recession, this is not practical. Government expenditures are needed to support
the economy, while at the same time tax revenues are smaller.
Therefore, at this point in time, it should not be necessary to bring the deficit all the way to zero.
3. In real life, most expenditure cuts and revenue increases can't be done all in one year,
and will have to be phased in over a few years. But for the purpose of this exercise,
we suggest that you ignore this fact and decide on the actual numbers that you would like to see,
as though the changes could be made immediately.
4. You may note that the recent debt ceiling deal reached by Congress,
for all the pain it caused, does not balance the budget-- it only takes a first step.
You can do much better than that. Your job here is to work on the entire budget for one year.
Let's get started...
Budget-sense.org is not associated with any agency of the U.S. Government.
This web site is intended only as an educational exercise to help users to better understand
the federal budget and the choices that must be made in balancing it.
If you see errors or omissions in this calculator or the data it uses, please let us know.
We strive to be as accurate as possible.
If you have suggestions for improvement to the content of this site, please email
If you are experiencing technical issues with this site, please email