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Collection
Understanding Fiscal Responsibility

Teach students how to think critically about public policy using these Understanding Fiscal Responsibility lessons focusing on government institutions, programs, the Federal Reserve, Social Security, and events such as the Panic of 1893. Students become informed citizens as they consider the tradeoffs involved in setting public policy. They learn to articulate their own views by evaluating primary and secondary sources, engaging in group activities and discussions, and writing brief essays.

Lesson

FRED and the Federal Budget Interactive Lesson

Students will use a Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) data dashboard to calculate budget deficits, surpluses, how much federal budgets…
Key Concepts: Balance of Trade and Balance of Payments, Budget Deficit, Budget Surplus…
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Balancing the Federal Budget

ESSENTIAL DILEMMA When, if ever, should the nation prioritize balancing the federal budget?
Key Concepts: Balance of Trade and Balance of Payments, Budgeting, Credit…
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Taxation and the National Debt

ESSENTIAL DILEMMA Is there a fair and efficient way to fund and maintain the public services we want?
Key Concepts: Budget Deficit, Budget Deficits and Public Debt, Credit…
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The Economics of National Security

ESSENTIAL DILEMMA How do we know if we are getting good value out of the money we spend on defense?
Key Concepts: Budgeting, Credit, Decision Making/Cost-Benefit Analysis
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Medicare and the National Debt

ESSENTIAL DILEMMA Can we guarantee quality health care to the elderly in a way that is both efficient and equitable?
Key Concepts: Credit, Decision Making/Cost-Benefit Analysis, Financial Markets…
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Social Security and the National Debt

ESSENTIAL DILEMMA What costs and trade-offs are we willing to accept to ensure the benefits of income security to Social…
Key Concepts: Credit, Decision Making/Cost-Benefit Analysis, GDP…
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The Panic of 1893 and the Election of 1896

ESSENTIAL DILEMMA Were the contradictory responses political leaders had to the panic of 1893 driven more by economic/political self-interest or…
Key Concepts: Budget Deficit, Budgeting, Business Cycles…
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The History of Medicare

ESSENTIAL DILEMMA Medicare 1966: President Lyndon Johnson’s “American way” or Ronald Reagan’s “advance wave of socialism”?
Key Concepts: Budget Deficits and Public Debt, GDP, Insurance…
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The History of Social Security

In this economics lesson, students will examine the creation of Social Security.
Key Concepts: Fiscal Policy, Income Distribution, Roles of Government
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Rhetoric

ESSENTIAL DILEMMA Is it convincing facts or effective rhetoric that determines what the public thinks about the debt and the…
Key Concepts: Budget Deficit, Credit
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Medicare, Governance, and the National Debt

ESSENTIAL DILEMMA What level of medical care should the federal government provide for the elderly, and what trade-offs are we…
Key Concepts: Budget Deficit, Budget Deficits and Public Debt, Budgeting
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Social Security, Governance, and the National Debt

ESSENTIAL DILEMMA What responsibility does the federal government have to ensure the elderly a secure and stable standard of living?
Key Concepts: Balance of Trade and Balance of Payments, Budget Deficits and Public Debt, Credit…
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Activity

Policy Perspectives on the Federal Budget

In Policy Perspectives on the Federal Budget, a digital interactive activity, students think critically about Federal Budget policy choices from…
Key Concepts: Balanced Budget, Economic Functions of Government, Federal Budget
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Policy Perspectives on Medicare

In Policy Perspectives on Medicare, a digital interactive activity, students think critically about Medicare policy choices from the perspectives of…
Key Concepts: Decision Making/Cost-Benefit Analysis
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Policy Perspectives on Social Security

In Policy Perspectives on Social Security, a digital interactive activity, students think critically about Social Security policy choices from the…
Key Concepts: Credit, Decision Making/Cost-Benefit Analysis, Scarcity
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Taxation and the National Debt (A) | Activity

Use this Image Annotation Tool to enable your students to creatively comment on political cartoons, and to share their annotated…
Key Concepts: Budget Deficit, Budget Deficits and Public Debt, Credit…
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Taxation and the National Debt (B) | Activity

Use this Image Annotation Tool to enable your students to creatively comment on political cartoons, and to share their annotated…
Key Concepts: Budget Deficit, Budget Deficits and Public Debt, Credit…
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Medicare and the National Debt | Activity

Use this Image Annotation Tool to enable your students to creatively comment on political cartoons, and to share their annotated…
Key Concepts: Credit, Decision Making/Cost-Benefit Analysis, Financial Markets…
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Balancing the Federal Budget | Activity

Use this Image Annotation Tool to enable your students to creatively comment on political cartoons, and to share their annotated…
Key Concepts: Balance of Trade and Balance of Payments, Budgeting, Credit…
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The Fiscal Ship | Activity

Think like a president! Choose strategies to keep the federal debt in check as you play The Fiscal Ship, a…
Key Concepts: Budget Deficits and Public Debt, Fiscal Policy
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Video

Balancing the Federal Budget | Classroom Demo

Help your students to understand how the federal budget is established using CEE's animated video Overview of the Federal Budget…
Key Concepts: Budget Deficits and Public Debt, Budgeting, Fiscal Policy
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Overview of Federal Taxes | Animated Video

Where does federal revenue come from and how is it used to pay for the services we rely on? Help…
Key Concepts: Budget Deficit, Budget Deficits and Public Debt, Credit…
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Overview of the Budget Process | Animated Video

How is the federal budget established, what is influencing decision makers, and what do we need to know? Help students…
Key Concepts: Budget Deficit, Budget Deficits and Public Debt, Decision Making/Cost-Benefit Analysis
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Professional Development

Taxation and the National Debt | Lesson Demo

This video models a lesson from our Understanding Fiscal Responsibility curriculum in the classroom, discusses lesson objectives and provides pointers…
Key Concepts: Budget Deficit, Budget Deficits and Public Debt, Credit…
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Social Security and the National Debt | Lesson Demo

This video models a lesson from our Understanding Fiscal Responsibility curriculum in the classroom, discusses lesson objectives and provides pointers…
Key Concepts: Credit, Decision Making/Cost-Benefit Analysis, Scarcity
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