Wilson Center Launches Budget Hero 2.0 | Wilson Center

Wilson Center Launches Budget Hero 2.0

Webcast available

Webcast Recap

While debate continues in Washington over raising the debt ceiling, many Americans remain confused about underlying budget issues. To help make the budget accessible and understandable, the Wilson Center’s Science Technology and Innovation Program (STIP) and the Public Insight Network team at American Public Media have developed Budget Hero 2.0, a computer game that allows anyone the opportunity to test and recognize the effects of specific budget cuts or expenditures on the federal budget. 

This latest version of Budget Hero includes updated Congressional Budget Office numbers and text about the pros and cons of various budget decisions. 

The original Budget Hero has been played more than 830,000 times and it’s been covered in at least 100 blogs with various sources calling it “fascinating,” “very cool,” and “instructive and fun.” The new version, Budget Hero 2.0, has been updated to reflect financial sector bailouts, stimulus plans and major policy initiatives with budgetary implications, such as health care reform. In the latest update to the game, there are some new policy cards including Sen. Paul Ryan's Medicare plan; freezing military spending; and a Tea Party option.

The National Conversation at The Wilson Center, a recent initiative, provides a safe political space for deep dialogue and informed discussion of the most significant problems and challenges facing the nation and the world. Nonpartisan and civil, The National Conversation provides the level of discourse the nation deserves through thoughtful and challenging explorations of vital issues.


  • David Rejeski

    Global Fellow
    Former Director, Science and Technology Innovation Program, Woodrow Wilson Center
  • Jane Harman

    Director, President, and CEO, Wilson Center