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Academic Sources


To provide the academic underpinnings for the Making Sense of the Federal Budget, Debt & Deficits unit, the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE) conducted preliminary interviews with policy experts from around the United States. These interviews, along with feedback from teachers nationwide, helped shape the direction of lesson creation. Following these initial discussions, FTE commissioned a series of white papers to provide the necessary data and explanations of this complex subject. The FTE curriculum team distilled the information into a form that middle and high school teachers can use in their classrooms.

These papers are available to the public and FTE encourages teachers who use the Budget unit to review each paper. The included content, graphs, and data provide an excellent overview of the subject.

White Papers:

Baier, S., & Posmanick, B. (2020). Federal debts and and deficits: Past, present, and future. www.fte.org. Clemson University
Federal Debts and Deficits: Past, Present, and Future

Bergman, B., (2020). Government financial reporting in the United States. www.fte.org. Truth in Accounting.
Government Financial Report in the United States

Bergman, B., (2020). State budgets: The good and the bad. www.fte.org. Truth in Accounting.
State Budgets The Good and the Bad

Capretta, J. (2020). Fiscal policy and the major entitlements: An introduction. www.fte.org. American Enterprise Institute.
Fiscal Policy and Entitlements: An Introduction

Lemke, J. & Lofthouse, J. Using public choice economics to understand public debt. www.fte.org. Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
Using Public Choice Economics to Understand Public Debt

Sheiner, L., & Yilla, Kadija. Federal Debt Policy in an era of low interest rates: A guide to the issues. Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution.
Federal Debt Policy in Era of Low Interest Rates