Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Interactive Deficit Reduction

I find no joy at all in dealing with numbers, but I can at least balance a checkbook. However, dealing with a budget on the scale of of our government's is a colossal task that most people can't even comprehend.

It's easy to simply say "Government needs to cut spending!!!" and it's also easy to overlook the thousand of lives affected by even relatively minor decisions.

The New York Times did what any respectable media should do in the Information Age. They featured a tool to help the reader understand the problem better.

It's obviously a simplification of the myriad issues surrounding the deficit, but it's still a great idea that at least lets people experience the complexities involved. The fact that it's completely interactive and simple to use makes it very engaging, even for a topic so mundane as the Federal Budget:

*Here's my initial choices, though I didn't spend too much time on it.

I can agree with the general direction of the plan released by Sen. Jan Schakowsky, one of the more progressive Senators on the so-called "Catfood Commission". There's definitely going to be stark contrasts in ideologies & priorities are going to be drawn as we enter the new year w/ a new Congress. If anything positive is accomplished, it'll be amazing.

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