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Lesson Plan

This lesson tackles a variety of topics related to government spending, including the federal budget, mandatory versus discretionary spending, and government debt. Students learn the difference between a surplus and deficit, the basics of federal budgeting, and the method the government uses to borrow money. They consider the complexities of deciding where the government’s money should go and compare those decisions to choices about personal budgeting. Finally, they work with actual federal spending figures from 2011 to see where the government’s money really goes.

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