Chapter 10: Government Spending
"Understanding the Federal Budget"
Students have already learned that the federal budget is an
annual plan outlining the proposed revenues and expenditures
for the coming year. A good source for further information
about the budget is the Citizen's Guide to the Federal Budget
released by the Government Printing Office. This document
is designed to provide an outline of how the government raises
revenues and spends money; how the budget is enacted by the
president and Congress; reasons for the budget deficit and
debt; and accomplishments the president hopes to achieve with
the current budget.
Students will use information from the Federal Budget Web
site to find out more about the budget of the United States
Previous Knowledge Expected
Students should be familiar with the following terms:
federal budget: annual plan outlining proposed expenditures
and anticipated revenues
fiscal year: 12-month financial planning period that
may coincide with the calendar year; October 1 to September
30 for the federal government
Applied Content Standards (from the National Council on
Standard 2: Effective decision making requires comparing
the additional costs of alternatives with the additional benefits.
Most choices involve doing a little more or a little less
of something; few choices are all-or-nothing decisions.
Standard 20: Federal government budgetary policy and
the Federal Reserve System's monetary policy influence the
overall levels of employment, output, and prices.
1. Students will be able to describe the federal budget.
2. Students will list sources of revenue for the federal government.
3. Students will list federal budget categories of spending.
Web Activity Answers
Teacher may prepare an answer sheet from information provided
on the Web site.
Encourage students to read other sections of the Citizen's
Guide to the Federal Budget. The entire Citizen's Guide document
is available at the following address: http://www.access.gpo.gov/usbudget/fy2000/maindown.html
The UC-Berkeley's Center for Community Economic Research has
developed a Web site simulation of the national budget. Have
students read the rules and play the simulation. Both long
and short versions are available at the site: http://socrates.berkeley.edu:3333/budget/budget.html
Student Web Activity