Fallout Symbols

Fiscal Fallout Contest

CRFB Fiscal Fallout Contest Logo#FiscalFallout

The national debt is huge and growing – in fact, as a share of the economy, it is the largest it has been at any time in the history of this country other than just after World War II. Our annual deficit – the amount we borrow each year – is about to be over one trillion dollars per year ($1,000,000,000,000). Our interest payments on the debt are the fastest growing part of the budget.

And yet, there is no plan in sight to make this situation any better.

Part of the problem is that it is so hard to personalize the national debt, visualize the damage it is doing, and understand, in human terms, the real cost to families, the country, and the future. (We put out a lot of good work, but our comfort zone is our spreadsheets.)

That's where you come in!


The Contest

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget is launching our Fiscal Fallout Contest.

We are asking students from across the country to submit a compelling multimedia presentation (video, podcast, short story, song, storyboard, etc.) that portrays the social and human impact of unsustainable government debt. Submissions could focus on any possible fiscal fallout scenario, whether it be slow income growth, a potential spike in interest rates, Social Security insolvency, shrinking federal investments, or a possible fiscal crisis. The goal is to humanize the risks and costs associated with high and rising national debt.

Who Can Enter:      

This contest is open to high school, college, and graduate students.


Submissions can be done individually or in teams of up to five people.


March 1, 2020


First Place:          $5,000 (what the U.S. spends every half-second on interest on the debt)

Second Place:    $1,000

Third Place:         $500            

For more information please contact: Ben Tomchik at tomchik@crfb.org 

Enter Contest

Contest Flyer

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