Politicians are being accused of playing games with the fiscal cliff. Now you have a chance to get into the game yourself.
For your Friday enjoyment here are some interactive tools that have sprung up online to help people learn more about the fiscal cliff and what can be done about it.
The Wall Street Journal has a “Make Your Own Deficit-Reduction Plan” tool that allows the user to choose among several policy options to create their own deficit reduction plan to replace the fiscal cliff. The user can allow the tax cuts to expire or to extend the cuts for incomes under $250,000. One can also modify several tax deductions and make cuts to different spending programs. The tool allows the user to see how their plan stacks up to the deficit reduction of the fiscal cliff.
The “Build a Better Budget” tool from the National Priorities Project allows the user to decide to accept the across-the-board spending cuts of the sequester or not. The user then makes a series of tax and spending decisions and can offer their own ideas.
Both these tools are similar to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s (CRFB) popular “Stabilize the Debt” budget simulator, which offers a host of revenue and spending options and allows the user to see how they affect the long-term debt and how much savings will be achieved over the next decade. And now that President Obama has reportedly put corporate tax reform on the table in the cliff negotiations, CRFB’s Corporate Tax Reform Calculator is also a handy resource.
Finally, for those more interested in viewing the possible carnage of going over the cliff rather than trying to avoid it, Slate has a fun tool allowing one to see how far a person will fall down the cliff based on family and income status.
Who said the fiscal cliff can’t be fun?