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Think you can balance the federal budget?
Tackling the monthly family budget can be a challenge, but imagine formulating a budget on a far larger scale.
U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-York County, will host in June a workshop during which small groups of people work together to create their own version of the federal budget while tackling government spending and tax issues.
Though the workshop is just an exercise, the issues lawmakers face while wading through budgets can have big impacts on the lives of everyone.
The fiscal year 2016 budget is projected to include $3.9 trillion in spending, while the government will collect just $3.4 trillion in revenue, creating a $534 billion deficit, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
At the same time, federal lawmakers are also staring down an ever-growing national debt that stands at $19 trillion.
"I anticipate this budget exercise to be a two-way learning experience," Perry said in an emailed statement. "I hope the participants come away with a better understanding of where and how their tax dollars are spent. Likewise, I look forward to receiving valuable input from constituents on suggestions for balancing the federal budget that I can bring back to Washington."
The workshop: Perry is teaming up with the Concord Coalition, a nationwide organization that advocates for responsible fiscal policy, to host the interactive budget workshop, called Principles & Priorities, on Wednesday, June 1, at York College.
Participants will be given a quick run through of the budget process and will then split up into small groups to work out how to reduce future federal deficits. They will consider various policy options in all areas of the budget, including defense, taxes, Social Security, Medicare and additional domestic spending.
The attendees will have about two hours to hash out details, and they are encouraged to apply personal philosophies.
"Our common goal is to balance the budget. Identifying the problem is easy; the interesting and more challenging part is factoring in different viewpoints and priorities to come up with a compromise, which is a difficulty we face in Washington all the time," Perry said.
Seating for the workshop is limited, and anyone wishing to attend must RSVP by contacting Perry's office at PA4RSVP@mail.house.gov, or 717-600-1919.
An online version of the exercise can found at www.concordcoalition.org. From there, click on "interactive budget exercises" under the "act" tab.
If you go
Who: U.S. Rep. Scott Perry and Phil LaRue, director of government relations with the Concord Coalition
What: “Principles and Priorities”: An Interactive Budget Workshop
When: 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1
Where: Willman Business Center, York College, 441 Country Club Road