Best Way to Understand the Budget (2011)

Backseat Budgeter

Balancing the state budget, as required by the Colorado Constitution, is no fun. But Backseat Budgeter does its best to make the process — or at least understanding the process — as pleasant as possible. This online simulator was created as a public service by Engaged Public, a political consulting firm, "to help citizens understand the tradeoffs associated with spending our public dollars." With a push from Colorado State University, the program not only lets you see how different decisions would affect the overall budget, but allows you to share your thoughts with the public officials who have to do the actual numbers-crunching. And while the Backseat Budgeter was created as a tool for understanding the Colorado State General Fund, it can be adapted for any public budget — a service that Engaged Public will provide at cost.

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