At June 26’s national town meeting, thousands of Americans came together to have serious conversations about the tough fiscal choices that lie ahead. To arrive at common understanding of the fiscal issues facing our country and the options for policy changes going forward, they used carefully crafted, nonpartisan discussion guides. In order to ensure that the information in these guides is as unbiased as possible, AmericaSpeaks worked with a diverse National Advisory Committee to solicit comments and feedback. Feel free to use these booklets, offered below in PDF form, to hold your own conversations about our country’s fiscal future.
Using CBO baseline projections, this guide provides an introduction to the fiscal challenges facing the country. Have you ever wondered about the difference between debt and deficit or discretionary and mandatory spending? Curious about what percentage of the budget is spent on national defense or Social Security? Want to know the effect of immigration on the long-term deficit? Federal Budget 101 is a great place to start.
In this workbook, you’ll find a wide array of revenue and spending options for reducing the federal budget deficit, plus explanations of each option’s implications for the American people. While it would be impossible to include all of the choices that policymakers could consider in one booklet, these options represent the types of decisions facing our elected officials. You can use this guide to browse the various options for deficit reduction–from health care reform to changes in tax deductions and credits–and come up with your own plan for long-term deficit reduction. Participants in the national discussion selected from these options to reduce the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion by 2025. Each table of participants also had the opportunity to include additional options as part of the discussion process.
For Community Conversation Hosts
Community Conversation Host Guide (web page with PDF option)
Flyer (editable) to promote your Community Conversation (Word document)
Day-Of Facilitation guide (PDF)
Community Conversation Technical FAQ (PDF)
Table Sign up Sheet (Excel File)
Table Ground Rules (PDF)
Federal Budget 101 (PDF)
Options Workbook (PDF)
For Partners & Volunteers
Download our Overview, Frequently Asked Questions, and Event Flyers here (web page with PDF links, in English and Spanish)
We welcome your help in continuing the discussion on the budget and the economy. Below are sample blurbs you can use and customize. Thank you!