Spring 2012—The Federal Budget: An Unsolvable Crisis?

Shifting in format, the spring 2012 symposium adopted a workshop series of presentations designed to provide our audience, primarily high school students, with the necessary information and background to understand the budget process. Any budget discussion can prove to be a challenge, but this Symposium examined the issues the President's Budget Supercommittee could not solve.Those include entitlements, defense, deficits and taxes. Congressman Lou Frey discussed and debated these issues with three other former members of Congress. Moderated by Central Florida News 13 Anchor, the panel included Charles Melancon (D-LA), Bob Clement (D-TN), Bill Zeliff (R-NH) and Lou Frey (R-FL). The discussions provided students some important insights as they headed into their afternoon work sessions. A budget exercise, led by the Concord Coalition, put UCF and area high school students through a budget balancing simulation. Members of UCF's Learning Institute for Elders also helped guide the discussion and exercise, providing a multigenerational platform for the learning opportunity.