Federal Spending Trade-Offs

Educator Toolkit: Peoples Guide to the Federal Budget

Activity Type: Individual
Chapter: 6
Objective: Students will be able to determine the estimated amount of federal income taxes from their state (and possibly their county, city or town) that went to fund specific federal programs/initiatives. Students will then be able to examine what else those tax dollars could have funded.

  1. Have students visit Trade-Offs on NPP’s website 
  2. Ask students to click on their state (and/or nearest county, city or town).
  3. Ask students to choose a program.
  4. Ask students to choose one or all of the trade-offs.
  5. After using the trade-off tool, students will write a reflection on what they learned using the following questions:
    • What were you most surprised by when exploring the trade-offs for your state or community?
    • In what ways are your priorities different than the federal government’s priorities?
    • In what ways are they similar?
    • What did this make you think about?
    • What would you change?

Download as PDF