The U.S. and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Deficit

AP U.S. Government and Politics

Under the recent spending bill passed by congress and signed by the president, what will happen to the U.S. budget deficit over the next two years?

AP U.S. Government and Politics

AP U.S. Government and Politics

Critical Questions

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What does budget deficit mean?

  3. What is the difference between deficit and debt?

  4. What is the big story this chart tells?

  5. Explain whether you think this is good news.

  6. What is one major cause for the expanding budget deficit?

  7. What is one major consequence of an increasing budget deficit?

  8. If the budget deficit continues to grow, what will happen to the overall U.S. debt?*

  9. How does military spending versus non-military spending compare in the current spending bill the president just signed into law?**

  10. On Thursday, February 8 the U.S. government shut down because one U.S. senator held the floor and would not allow the Senate to vote on a funding plan that would have kept the government open. Is this a good way to run a government?

  11. What role does Congress play in spending and funding the government?

  12. What role does the President play in creating budgets?

  13. What does the brief government shutdown tell us about checks and balances?

  14. What do you think the framers of the Constitution would think about our current debt?

Visual Extension


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Learning Extension

Check out the U.S. national debt clock in real time!!!!

Action Extension

Contact your congressional representative, share a link to the U.S. debt clock and tell them what you think about the deficit that we are adding to the U.S. debt.




What portion of US jobs are in manufacturing?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What % of US jobs do you think the average American would predict are in manufacturing?

  3. What is the big story this chart tells?

  4. Why do you think this is happening?

  5. What is one consequence of this?

  6. Overall, is this good or bad news?

  7. If this trend were to continue, by 2025, what percent of US jobs would be in manufacturing?

  8. In 1950, almost 1/3 of all US jobs were in manufacturing (factory work); in 1900, 38% of all US jobs were in agriculture (farming); today, around 80% of all US jobs are in the service industry. Considering economic opportunity, explain which time period you would prefer to live in.

  9. Where have these manufacturing jobs gone?

  10. Are the countries where manufacturing makes up a much larger percentage of jobs, generally wealthier or poorer than the US?

  11. Many of these manufacturing jobs have been automated and are now performed by robots.

  12. Do you think Donald Trump should declare a war on robots?

  13. How do you think the data from this chart impacted the 2016 election?

  14. How do you think the data from this chart impacts US politics in general?

  15. Do you think Donald Trump will be able to bring back manufacturing jobs?

  16. Do you think Donald Trump should try to bring back more agricultural jobs?

  17. What is one program or policy the government could pass to try to bolster manufacturing jobs in the US?

  18. Many of the rust belt states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio) that were once home to manufacturing centers and reliably voted for Democrats, supported Donald trump in the 2016 election. Why do you think that is?

Learning Extension

Research the following countries: China, Croatia, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Somalia, and the US. List their % of jobs in manufacturing and their per capita gdp.

Action Extension

Share your learning extension data and conclusions you have drawn with your class or online.

Bonus Charts