President Obama's recent proposal to cut Social Security's cost-of-living increases is part of a major national debate, but one that many students know little about. In this activity, students find out about Social Security  by interviewing a senior family member or friend about it, and through...

After an introductory reading about the debate now raging in Washington, students try their hand at balancing a projected 2015 budget themselves.

Student readings offer an overview of the defense budget and the Pentagon; explore the issues surrounding production of the F22; and discuss the military-industrial-congressional complex. Discussion questions follow. The accompanying DBQ exercise is described below.

Three student readings and a quiz explore why the complex developed, how it operates, and some of its consequences. Discussion questions and opportunities for further inquiry and citizenship activities follow.

Two student readings examine the practice of earmarking in bills and the connection between earmark spending and political campaign cash.