By Tom Cushing
E-mail Tom Cushing
About this blog: The Raucous Caucus shares the southpaw perspectives of this Boomer on the state of the nation, the world, and, sometimes, other stuff. I enjoy crafting it to keep current, and occasionally to rant on some issue I care about deeply... (More)
About this blog: The Raucous Caucus shares the southpaw perspectives of this Boomer on the state of the nation, the world, and, sometimes, other stuff. I enjoy crafting it to keep current, and occasionally to rant on some issue I care about deeply. My long, strange career trip has included law and management jobs in two Fortune 50 companies, before founding the legal search and staffing firm Cushing Group, Recruiters. I've lectured on negotiation and settlement strategy, and teach graduate courses at Golden Gate University (Adjunct of the Year for a doctoral seminar on business, law and society). Illinois, Texas and California (Inactive) admitted me to law practice; I hold JD and MBA degrees from the University of Illinois, and a BGS from the University of Michigan, with Distinction. There -- Go Blue! Personally, my daughters are a lawyer in NY, and a pre-med student in NM - their lives-and-times often animate these columns. I'm active in animal advocacy matters, having led a citizen team that took Alameda's city animal shelter to a non-profit operation - we saved $600K annually and the lives of some 700 companion animals/year vs. the City's best alternative. I'm delighted with that success. My family has re-homed 144 foster animals over many years; we host four boisterous border collies of our own. Mostly for humane movement efforts, I was nominated for GQ magazine's 2009 Better Men, Better World Award. You may notice that many of my rants relate to critter issues. In addition to the Raucous Caucus blog, I frequently contribute to The BARK magazine, and am a proud Moderator emeritus on the popular news and humor website www.Fark.com
. I prefer scotch over imported beer (Hide)
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Fiscal Cliff-diving: Play the Principles and Priorities Game (with Prizes!)
Uploaded: Nov 28, 2012
Okay, we all know that Congress is in disrepute with The Electorate -- otherwise, why would we have returned so many Incumbents to their seats in the Capitol? We also harbor suspicions that we could each do a Much better job than they do, if only we were willing to suffer the many indignities of public life and perpetual campaigning.
Well, okay then here's your chance! The Concord Coalition http://www.concordcoalition.org/ , a leading non-partisan, budget-centered organization, has put together a game that lets you (yes, YOU) allocate the federal budget, raising and spending money where you think it ought to go (admittedly, reality is tempered by the fact that you are seeking only the best result for the nation, e.g., you don't have a defense plant in your district). Where else could you get the chance to spend literally trillions of dollars as you see fit, almost all of it coming from other people? The game's been played in many educational and other group settings across the country -- so, sez I, why not here?
It consists of a Playbook in which you record your choices on numerous budget components, and an Options booklet that explains the pros, cons and $$ implications of each choice. The Playbook choices are grouped into five major categories: Discretionary Spending, Security/Defense, Health Care/Social Security, and, to be fair and balanced, Taxes/Revenues.
So, here's how it goes:
1. Gather and name your team or yourself (e.g., couples, friends or families -- any size team, including solo, although it's ideal to have more than one perspective), then
2. Email me that info (aliases okay!) at [email protected]
I will send back the Playbook and Options booklet as attachments. The info in the materials is final, because it has to be -- no arguments about its accuracy can be accepted.
3. Play the game, recording your choices in the Playbook.
4. When your team is convinced that you have created the best possible budget, email it back to me in the five Category format. DEADLINE: December 12th, 11:59 PM.
5. On December 14th, all or the best entries will be posted here for discussion and advocacy. I have no idea how many entries we'll get in case of too many, the finalists will be chosen by a panel of Jessica Lipsky, Bernie Madoff (he has "time"), Warren Buffett, Jimmy Buffett and Bo, the First Dog.
6. We will then vote for the top 3 Teams, by email above. Results certified by PriceWaterstonCoppers.
7. Winner announced on December 26th. GRAND PRIZE: the biggest, bestest Primo's pizza you can order. Second Prize: a lesser sum that your team can spend on itself, or graciously choose to donate in this Season of Giving, to the deserving critters at Tri-Valley Animal Rescue (TVAR).
So, DX and SRX readers: the Fiscal Cliff looms -- glory awaits -- choose up sides and play!
What is it worth to you?
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