Steven Maloney asked his students to stabilize the budget using the CRFB’s simulator. Some couldn’t do it without making draconian choices that were particularly painful for seniors, or undoing the President’s decisions to preserve troop levels in Afghanistan and extending the Bush-era tax cuts. Some wouldn’t do it:
That students would hand in deficits of 70% of GDP when the assignment was to get it to 60%, and say, â€œsorry, I just cannot do it,â€ when they are checking boxes in an extra credit assignment that affects no one… suggests that perhaps most of our polarization problems are problems of focused attention, and not, as popular theories on both the right and left seem to purport, because we are populated by disagreeable, sub-mental, conspirators out to destroy life as we know it.
It’s a very interesting experiment! Further evidence that there would be real value in letting people wrangle with the whole budget in a public forum.