Hey Mr Taxman


This week we will look at fiscal policy.  Fiscal policy is government actions in the economy: taxing and spending.  Most government spending is mandatory – it has already been promised.  The remainder is discretionary meaning it is optional and decided on yearly.

Besides to defense, where does that discretionary money go?




When taxes don’t equal spending the government runs with a surplus or a deficit which can add to or decrease the federal debt.  Speaking of which, did you know the debt is over $19 trillion and rising by the second.  Go ahead, click on the link watch it rise.  I’ll wait. So what about that ginormous debt – will it help the US or bury us?  We will get some tools and perspective on that question this week.

US debt as a percent of GDP

Before next week:

  •  Watch the following videos:

Ep 26: Fiscal Policy

Ep 27: Crowding Out & Lags

Ep 28: Taxes and Budget

The Difference between Debt and Deficit: An Explainer

  • Complete the study guide. Remember to print out the guide and bring it to take notes on in class

— As google doc here

–As pdf  Fiscal policy study guide here

For your procrastination:

Podcast about welfare,





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