Debt AppsThink you can do better than Congress in coming up with a balanced budget? Several smartphone apps let you play along with all the fiscal fun happening in Washington.

The Deficit Hawk app, only available for Android, lets users cut spending and raise taxes, and see deficit how projections change based on your choices. Increase the corporate income tax by 1 percentage point, and gain more than $100 billion over the next 10 years; reduce growth appropriations to trim the budget elsewhere. You won't add to your own deficit: The app is free.

It's not the only economy and budget app out there: the Reducing the Deficit app was created by the Congressional Budget Office and presents more than 100 options for altering federal spending and revenues, starting with its own $1.99 price tag. It's available for the iPhone.

DocuApps, which offers a library of key documents like the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence for smartphones, has made President Obama's 2012 budget plan pocket-sized. This app, available for iPhone, is also free.

Also it's worth a look at the U.S. debt clock (not yet a smartphone app) for an eye-popping array of numbers in real time -- all ticking away. A number of deficit calculators websites can help you run the numbers, including one from the Center for Economic Policy and Research and another from the The New York Times that includes an interactive feature allowing you to play budgetary kingmaker.

App screen shots

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

How to Buy a Car

How to get the best deal and buy a car with confidence.

View Course »

How to Avoid Financial Scams

Avoid getting duped by financial scams.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

No public servent should make more than the average wage of the people in the area that they serve. ( Public servent meaning anyone paid with tax money ).

July 31 2011 at 7:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I think the pork in the President's and Congress's personal spending should immediately be cut. They should all pay at the same tax rate as the rest of us and live on social security rather than the outlandish pensions they receive. God did not put these people in office. They work for us. For example, when Obama goes on vacation, the cost to the American taxpayer is over $25,000 an hour for his plane alone and he utilizes 3 planes every time.... one for him, one for the press and a 3rd is for his cars. His wife has over 100 people working specifically for her, where Jackie Kenedy had 3, etc We should stop all foreign aid to countries that have no respect for usand make sure not one American child goes to bed hungary. We should teach our government what the word illegal means, by denying Medicaid and health care to ILLEGAL aliens. This will not save trillions but it would show that our government understands and cares..

July 31 2011 at 9:47 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Docandwife's comment

Although I totally agree with you about cutting the programs you've mentioned and I would add a couple hundered to it , you're pretty far off as to the cost of flying AIR Force one per Hour, it's much worse than you thought...
This is a forwarded commentary allegedly by CBS Reporter Mark Knoller that says President Obama flew on Air Force One 172 times during the year 2010, at the expense of the American taxpayer of $181,757 per flight hour.

July 31 2011 at 11:32 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

start with "defunding" obamacare. save a few trillion right there.

July 31 2011 at 6:40 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

trevroc143 for President!

July 30 2011 at 7:40 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Now, all the money saved form the prison and prisoners will be spent on a better public education system. If we teach them well,they will not end up in prison. Of course, this will need a MAJOR overhaul as well. But in one decade America will catch up to the rest of the world and find a better citizenry to boot. Note: Before and aftercare will be a vital part. Keep the children in school while parents work. Threefold gain - less crime with supervision, parents able to work with convenient child care, children able to do homework, use library and computers. The money saved on less crime will make a huge difference. The children protected and learned - priceless!

Drugs: Stop the War on Drugs -- it has NEVER worked and NEVER will. If there is a demand, their will be plenty of supply. We have got to stop locking drug addicts up with these ridiculous mandatory sentences. Drug addicts should be treated as alcoholics are treated - as a disease - period! We have to figure out what to legalize and what to depense through doctors. Right now the legal prescription drugs are a worse crisis than illegal drugs.

Well, I'm tired. The rest of you will have to balance the rest. We are almost there!

July 30 2011 at 12:34 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply


All foreign aid should be cut until we have balanced our budget. We cannot help others when we cannot help ourselves. Ask Dr. Drew if you are having a problem with this fact. Currently, we attempt to buy foreign governments so they will do what we want. Leave them alone and maybe they will figure it out. If not, Congress can raise taxes and fight another war.

We cannot wrap our head around the Republican way of: Cutting funding to Planned Parenthood which provides birth control, PAP smears, Education and Antibotics for STDS, and at the same time stop abortions, cut welfare, and allow Medicare to fund Viagra and the like. No sane person would put all of these together and think it will work, much less be a good idea.

So I say, make Viagra and the like just like cigerettes. You want it, pay for it yourself. Birth control should be FREE as should PAP Smears and STD education and Medication. Once we stop breeding an underclass, welfare will automatically go down. Abortion will go down, but no legislation will ever stop it. Wake up and face reality.

Okay folks, we are saving massive money. Let's move on...

We have got to stop building prisons. The money spent on prisons and prisoners is costing us a fortune. We already have enough prisons. What we need is a MAJOR revamp in laws. If you kill other than in self-defense - you should die. Not in14 years of appeals either. All money should go to the best first trial. If you are founD guilty - you die within days, not years. No appeals. This is just another way for lawyers to make money. No, if you are guilty, you get to call your mother, have your last meal and a bullet. We have plenty of bullets and guns for that matter.
If you are a pedophile - you die without your last meal because you are such a piece of garbage, we shouldn't have to even feed you - period! The same goes on for all the other heinous crimes like child abuse. You hurt a child - you die! This will save trillions in no time at all and save us from second offenders. No more need for the letter that you now live in my neighborhood! Thieves should be forced to work off their debt which will include all expenses related to the Justice system, the actual theft, and the prison expense incurred while we have to house and feed you. You shouldn't be paid pennies per day, but an actual minimum wage so eventually you will get out. We have many jobs for you that American taxpayers can no longer afford.

Out of space again - to be continued...

July 30 2011 at 12:26 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Total U.S. debt according to Business Insider:
•Hong Kong: $121.9 billion (0.9 percent)
•Caribbean banking centers: $148.3 (1 percent)
•Taiwan: $153.4 billion (1.1 percent)
•Brazil: $211.4 billion (1.5 percent)
•Oil exporting countries: $229.8 billion (1.6 percent)
•Mutual funds: $300.5 billion (2 percent)
•Commercial banks: $301.8 billion (2.1 percent)
•State, local and federal retirement funds: $320.9 billion (2.2 percent)
•Money market mutual funds: $337.7 billion (2.4 percent)
•United Kingdom: $346.5 billion (2.4 percent)
•Private pension funds: $504.7 billion (3.5 percent)
•State and local governments: $506.1 billion (3.5 percent)
•Japan: $912.4 billion (6.4 percent)
•U.S. households: $959.4 billion (6.6 percent)
•China: $1.16 trillion (8 percent)
•The U.S. Treasury: $1.63 trillion (11.3 percent)
•Social Security trust fund: $2.67 trillion (19 percent)
So America owes foreigners about $4.5 trillion in debt. But America owes America $9.8 trillion.

Okay folks, there it is. How do we solve it?

The first cut should be to EVERY MEMBER of the House and Senate. They have gotten us into the shape we are in. Immediately, they should have their salary cut down to the average American income. Secondly, every dime in their pension funds should be turned over to Social Security. Then they would have a reason to save it, not destroy it. Thirdly, their health care should be paid in full by them. They are determined to destroy our lives, it is time the tables turned. Term limits should be set and NONE should be allowed to serve more then 2 terms.

Then as you can clearly see, our Social Security money has been borrowed and spent without our say so. The fund should be removed from their greedy little hands. Locked away as a true Trust Fund untouchable by Congress. The IOU's of $2.67 Trillions should be repaid IN FULL over the next 10 years. Most of it was spent on war starting with Vietnam right through Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya. If the USA wants to police the world, they will have to find another way to pay for it. Once Congress has to raise taxes to pay for their wars, I'm sure war will be needed very litle.

Our Defense budget is way more than the entire world's combined. We cannot police the world and have NO BUSINESS doing so. Many think we are fighting for BIG OIL, so let them pay for their own defense. Pony up if you want our protection. Retire the multiple layers of non-active duty personnel and make them take a cut in pay as well. All active duty should get a pay raise and be brought home as soon as possible. Stop invading and occupying foreign countries and building military bases in them. This cost billions. Close all non-essential bases around the world and sell them to the country you built them in. Take all monies saved and pay back Social Security first. Then you can put the balance on the remainder of the debt. ---Limit reached - to be continued...

July 29 2011 at 11:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

The American people gave me the axe last November. That was a good start at reducing the debt and stopping my out of control reckless spending.

July 29 2011 at 5:49 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Its already been done. Senator Tom Coburn knows the Federal budget better than ahyone and has a report scored to reduce spending by nine trillion dollars, the kind of reduction needed to save us from disaster. Even if only half of his recommendations were adopted the savings woul still be at least twice what has been proposed in either the House or Senate. It's a shame that so little attention is paid by this site or other media to this extraordinary statesman.

July 29 2011 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DJ McCloskey

I notice that not once have the "lawmakers" suggested that their entitlements be cut. Reps only have to serve 2 yrs. in order to collect retirement, Senators 4 yrs. They also have excellent health benefits, and other luxury entitlements. The majority of those "serving" our nation in Wash. are all wealthy people who don't need any of these things, but because they are the "lawmakers", they vote for these things for themselves. They would rather jeopardize the health and well-being of needy Americans who will suffer if they don't get their SS, SSI, and SSDI. 54M Americans will be SOL if these people can't get their s**t together and make intelligent cuts to the budget.
I am one of those 54M Americans and I also have a military pension, so I'm doubly in trouble.
We need to revamp our political system. Into what I can't say, because I do not understand them. But it must change. No more two party system, fighting over whose ideology is best for everyone. No more lobbyist furthering their own agendas for profit at the expense of the American people and our way of life. No more "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" mentality that got our budget so overbloated that we cannot even encompass all it covers.
We Americans have got to get over paying attention to our own little corners of the nation. We have become so complacent that whenever a news story happens that shocks everyone regarding our economy, we just take it and hope somehow that it won't affect us. (My family, my neighborhood, my town, my state, etc.)
Big business, big banks, fast talking conmen, real estate moguls, and others have gotten us into this mess. Allowing our industries to relocate overseas, underfunded agencies such as the SEC unable to police Wall St., allowing 250K LEGAL aliens into this country every year, bringing foreign workers here from overseas because they will accept less money and benefits, not policing our borders and allowing millions of undocumented workers so big business can profit, and giving them every entitlement we could so as not to tax our consciences for not helping the poor, not enforcing the immigration laws (we should have made them tougher) and getting them out of our country before they ate up all our taxes.
When are we going to wake up and do what is right for all, and not just those who believe in certain ideologies. We let ourselves be bamboozled and now we're gonna pay.
I realize we are not the only country in trouble, the economies of a lot of other nations are in trouble, too. Whether we like it or not it is a global economy and what happens to one, affects us all.

July 29 2011 at 3:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to DJ McCloskey's comment

You're wrong about retirement for Congressman. They pay into the same federal govt retirement program as federal employees. They are FERS employees unless they worked for the federal govt back in the 1980s. Anyway, under FERS they pay into a 401k (Thrift Savings Plan) which they fund themselves although the govt will match up to 5%. When they leave govt service they can take their 401k savings with them. There is also a small annuity associated with FERS but that requires a minimum of 5 years of contributions plus it only kicks in once one reaches 62, although there is a provision to take it earlier with a reduced benefit. Members also pay into Social Security and Medicare.

Health benefits, again same as federal employees. Health plans very and the employee pays a portion. Upon qualifying retirement, the retiree can chose a health plan.

July 29 2011 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply