All along the campaign trail, presidential candidates continue to make promises they can’t keep. They promise to give voters trillions in tax cuts while also balancing the budget and protecting popular programs from budget cuts.
Fact-checking journalists and spreadsheet-wielding advocates of fiscal responsibility challenge those assertions, but reach a small slice of the population. So we asked: What else can be done to communicate the scale and scope of the debt problem?
To start with, we made a game. Whimsical, but grounded in the fiscal facts, “The Fiscal Ship” allows players with little background in the budget to come up with their own plan to stabilize the debt without compromising their values.
On April 27, we launched our “Fiscal Ship”—now see it for yourself.
Are you a fiscal hawk? Or a staunch environmentalist? Your own priorities will affect how you lower the debt, and “The Fiscal Ship” will teach you what will and won’t work.
The game was developed through a partnership between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings. To kick off the informal event, Hutchins Center Director David Wessel made brief opening remarks about how the game was made, what choices went into its underlying policies, and what we learned from early testing. After Wessel’s remarks, participants were invited to play the game, enjoy complimentary refreshments, and network with other members of the policy community.
Rising federal debt isn’t a game. It’s a real problem—and many Americans know that. We hope you’ll play “The Fiscal Ship” and spread the word about the problem and actual solutions to the dangers of rising debt.
The Fiscal Ship was created by the Hutchins Center at Brookings and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
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