The U.S. budget super committee is still struggling to agree on a plan for budget cuts. While the super committee has been debating this issue, American Public Media has been creating an online “game” so that the American public can attempt to balance the national budget based on what they believe to be most important in terms of spending and taxes. The game is called “Budget Hero” and it is even being used by university classrooms to help teach students about how the government really operates financially. http://budgethero.publicradio.org/widget/widget.php
However, this super committee is not playing an online game and they are working under pressure at this point to meet the November 23 deadline. So the question that many are now asking- “what if they do not reach an agreement by the deadline?” If the super committee cannot come to agreement in the next few days there is an automatic cost-cutting plan that would go into effect. This automatic plan would simply cut funding to programs, equally split between defense and non-defense spending, for the fiscal years 2013 through 2021 to help balance the budget. The more “favored” programs such as Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps and the Children’s Health Insurance Program would be protected under this plan. The biggest concern to most in this automatic plan is the 2% cut it would make to Medicare as this would cut over one billion dollars from the program, although this is still a very small portion of this programs budget.
While we can play online and create our own budget, the real questions about the national budget are being left up to twelve Congressmen and Congresswomen who will either find agreement on a common plan or argue until time expires thus allowing the “automatic” plan to take place.