Closing the Federal Deficit Gap: You Make the Call! (Making the Case for Expenditure Cuts and/or Tax Increases)

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Martin, James
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
Issue Date
February 2012
Alternative Title
This case allows students to analyze and provide workable solutions for closing the United States Federal deficit for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011. Estimated at $1.3 trillion, the 2011 deficit pushed the overall US federal debt total above $15 trillion, mobilizing Congress to raise the US debt ceiling multiple times and leading to a downgrade in US debt by Standard & Poors. The case is particularly timely given the upcoming 2012 national elections. With candidates reluctant to make tough decisions to raise taxes or eliminate popular spending programs, the case arms students with workable estimates of federal expenditures, separated into familiar categories. The case also identifies tax revenues by source and income level for individuals. The student then is left to decide ... which taxpayers will have to pay more and which federal expenditures will have to be reduced.