Citizens play lawmakers at federal budget exercise on ECU campus

Principles and Priorities

From changes to Social Security, to how many nuclear submarines the Navy needs, people of all ages played lawmaker for a day. They had to decide on issues the U.S Congress has to vote on every day in hopes of lowering the national debt.

"I think the deficit is a significant issue and we've got to deal with it and these kinds of educational sessions like this one are the best way for people to understand the real need for us to make hard choices," said Hugh Lee, an ECU professor.

Students like Madison Bunchness got a taste of complicated those decisions can be for Congress.

"Most of the stuff we talked about today, I'd never even thought about, especially on large scale terms," said Bunchness.

The Concord Coalition is behind the exercise, called Principles and Priorities. The goal is to better inform voters on the decisions Congress makes.

"Sometimes we think it's really easy to cut this, or we should be paying for this," said Marjorie Dufek, NC Coordinator for the Concord Coalition. "And we don't always realize the implications of those decisions."

And this experience is more than educational . Each group has the chance to present their budget plan to Congressman Walter Jones.

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