by the Innovation in Politics Institute
The online magazine for digital democracy


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Private, For Profit

Pricing Scheme

Balancing Act

Balancing Act is an online tool for citizens to learn about public budgets and the decisions that public officials must make while creating them. Participants are given the opportunity to try allocating money — expressing their priorities and preferences. However, they are also pressured to strike a balance between spending and income. Governments have utilized Balancing Act to present the facts and encourage citizens to assist in making difficult decisions—whether making cuts or increasing taxes—needed to balance the budget when the forecast is bleak or there is a structural deficit necessitating some painful choices. Usually, Balancing Act is based on a proposed budget. Public officials may persuasively, but respectfully, debate with communities about critical items and how they need to fit into the budget by using Balancing Act's layered information structure to highlight real-time implications. In order for the public to fully comprehend the implications, Balancing Act can be used to simulate the impact and effect on the budget on policy proposals.

By Engaged Public

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