Washington Can’t Balance The Federal Budget. Can You?

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Photo: Engaged Public
A woman uses the Federal Balancing Act tool.

Maybe you've already paid the federal government this tax season or maybe you are racing against the deadline. In any case, wouldn't you like to see how that money gets spent?

Engaged Public, a Colorado group, has a new online tool that lets anyone see the federal budget and shift it to his or her liking. The group developed the tool--called the Federal Balancing Act--with the Bipartisan Policy Center.

The hope is that lay people will use the tool then share their ideas with lawmakers, who'll get a clearer idea of an acceptable budget consensus. That's especially timely now. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the $544 billion federal deficit is growing for the first time since 2009.

Colorado Matters' Ryan Warner spoke to Chris Adams, the president of Engaged Public, about how to use the tool and what it teaches about the federal budget.