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The Bus
05-22-08, 08:03 AM
<a href="http://marketplace.publicradio.org/features/budget_hero/"><img src="http://www.apmstations.org/images/special/engage08/budget_hero_300x250.jpg">

<b>Play Budget Hero</b></a>

This is interesting. American Public Media has a short Flash-based game that lets you play with the budget of the United States. According to their FAQ:

Budget Hero seeks to provide a values- and fiscal-based lens for citizens to examine policy debates during this election year. Partisan messages tend to cloud the real issues at play during campaigns, and most candidates are loath to attach detailed financial impacts to solutions which make up their platform. Budget Hero provides an interactive experience involving policy options that have been extensively researched and vetted with non-partisan government and think tank experts to enable players to objectively evaluate candidates.

I've played games like these before, but they were back in the DOS days and were almost too granular. This one you can go through in about 10 minutes. At the beginning, you can say what policies you want to follow and at the end of the game it tells you if you actually followed through on them.

For example, I chose as my main three policies Competitive Advantage, Health and Wellness, and Economic Stimulus. After everything was said and done, I ended up really only doing Competitive Advantage. :lol:

There's no easy way to show the results, unfortunately. I'll re-run it again and paste them here later.

Red Dog
05-22-08, 08:17 AM
It doesn't let me cut as much as I want to.

Venusian
05-22-08, 08:23 AM
i cut it to 16% by 2018

orangecrush
05-22-08, 08:28 AM
It doesn't let me cut as much as I want to.
Perhaps the tears of all the people hurt by your cuts prevent the program from working properly.

wishbone
05-22-08, 09:09 AM
http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/7382/budgetlq0.jpg
Budget Hero :rock2:

Birrman54
05-22-08, 09:28 AM
Decrease foreign aid and military adventurism, increase SS tax limit and decrease payments to wealthy seniors. Eliminate Corporate subsidies, eliminate most of the Bush tax cuts.

There was some other stuff too, I decreased the overall size of Govt by 20% and extended the budget bust to 2060

classicman2
05-22-08, 09:33 AM
Which budget - the real one or the unified one that we use? ;)

The Bus
05-22-08, 09:43 AM
<img src="http://www.fantasticdamage.com/blog/fedbudgethero.jpg">

Interesting that "increasing mass transit" is the 2nd most popular option so far.

The Bus
05-22-08, 09:44 AM
Decrease foreign aid and military adventurism, increase SS tax limit and decrease payments to wealthy seniors. Eliminate Corporate subsidies, eliminate most of the Bush tax cuts.

There was some other stuff too, I decreased the overall size of Govt by 20% and extended the budget bust to 2060

Sounds like what I did. :up:

classicman2
05-22-08, 10:11 AM
Originally Posted by Birrman54
and decrease payments to wealthy seniors.

Originally posted by The Bus
Sounds like what I did.

If you do that to Social Security - you destroy the program. It becomes a needs program.

Birrman54
05-22-08, 10:18 AM
Originally Posted by Birrman54
and decrease payments to wealthy seniors.

Originally posted by The Bus
Sounds like what I did.

If you do that to Social Security - you destroy the program. It becomes a needs program.

I know you don't believe it, but SS is insolvent, and as a retirement program - it's pretty shitty. Poor return on investment combined with massive inflation tends to be a waste of money. If SS has a future it's in making sure seniors aren't eating dog food for lunch, not making sure that my grandfather the neurosurgeon receives his weekly stipend.

The Bus
05-22-08, 10:21 AM
If you do that to Social Security - you destroy the program. It becomes a needs program.

True, but the program is in trouble.

classicman2
05-22-08, 10:23 AM
Social Security is not just a retirement program. It is a social insurance program. That's what it's also been.

And again - I've been hearing that insolvency stuff for decades.

You could have made a legitimate argument in the late 70's & early 80s.

Where do you get the idea that Social Security is insolvent?

Better yet - what is your defintion of insolvent?

classicman2
05-22-08, 10:28 AM
True, but the program is in trouble.

I agree that SS needs a 'fix.' We should do it now when there is less pain than there will be when it's mandatory to apply a fix.

That's my biggest gripe with Bill Clinton when he was president. He had the golden opportunity (an agreement with the Repubs) to fix Medicare & Social Security. He reneged on the deal.

X
05-22-08, 10:35 AM
Social Security is not just a retirement program. It is a social insurance program. That's what it's also been.So keep the social insurance part and can the rest over time.

What is the percentage of payments for social insurance compared to retirement benefits?

Duran
05-22-08, 10:40 AM
It doesn't let me cut as much as I want to.

Ditto.

wendersfan
05-22-08, 10:44 AM
The interface looks like a joke and I refuse to play, so there. :grunt:

Birrman54
05-22-08, 10:50 AM
Also, where's the "end $100+ Billion War on Drugs"?

The Bus
05-22-08, 11:24 AM
Better yet - what is your defintion of insolvent?

"Can no longer fully fund promised benefits"

kvrdave
05-22-08, 11:29 AM
The interface looks like a joke and I refuse to play, so there. :grunt:

You didn't miss much. It was interesting, but revenue will only increase through government spending and tax cuts will only lead to debt, even if you cut spending, from what I saw.

JasonF
05-22-08, 11:32 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v337/JFliegel/BH.jpg

Red Dog
05-22-08, 12:35 PM
You didn't miss much. It was interesting, but revenue will only increase through government spending and tax cuts will only lead to debt, even if you cut spending, from what I saw.


Yep - it made little sense to me. Even when I made the biggest cuts and kept taxes the same, it didn't do anything to shrink government or improve the debt.

classicman2
05-22-08, 01:13 PM
"Can no longer fully fund promised benefits"

I know you don't believe it, but SS is insolvent....

That's the quote I responded to.

Do you agree that Social Security is insolvent?

JasonF
05-22-08, 01:26 PM
Yep - it made little sense to me. Even when I made the biggest cuts and kept taxes the same, it didn't do anything to shrink government or improve the debt.

:hscratch: When I made huge cuts and left taxes unchanged, it moved the budget into a relatively large surplus.

Jason
05-22-08, 04:59 PM
The John McCain version.

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/149/grandpamccainfucksameriha2.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

cpgator
05-22-08, 05:18 PM
<img src="http://www.fantasticdamage.com/blog/fedbudgethero.jpg">

Interesting that "increasing mass transit" is the 2nd most popular option so far.

Ouch - thanks for the almost $1 a gallon gas tax! I'm sure that will help the economy... :eek:

The Bus
05-22-08, 05:20 PM
Ouch - thanks for the almost $1 a gallon gas tax! I'm sure that will help the economy... :eek:

Something needs to pay for mass transit. ;)

cpgator
05-22-08, 05:22 PM
Something needs to pay for mass transit. ;)

I will take mass transit if you get all the weirdos off it. :)

GreenMonkey
05-22-08, 08:21 PM
Also, where's the "end $100+ Billion War on Drugs"?

:thumbsup:

I'd like a moderate version of this. At least legalizing marijuana and ending that part of the drug war (which is the main stupid part).

And why can you only cut the military 10%? Maybe I'd like to cut more than that and spend it on international intelligence programs or something.

wmansir
05-22-08, 08:29 PM
The John McCain version.

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/149/grandpamccainfucksameriha2.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
Looks like you forgot to add the Cap and Trade card, which McCain supports and the Eliminate Pork spending card, which actually says in the description "You're channeling John McCain".

Houstondon
05-23-08, 07:19 AM
And why can you only cut the military 10%? Maybe I'd like to cut more than that and spend it on international intelligence programs or something.
I think that is because most of the military spending is programmed spending (personnel, benefits, and weapon systems that would cost just as much to cancel as continue). I tried cutting all the spending I could, raising all the taxes I could, and it still gave me mixed reviews... ;)

Breakfast with Girls
05-23-08, 11:41 AM
<img src="http://matthew.ratzloff.name/images/budgethero.png"/>

We've got a lot of debt. We need to pay it off.

Breakfast with Girls
05-27-08, 11:16 AM
I guess I win? :hscratch:


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