College students to present federal budget plans on Capitol Hill

College students from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Clemson University on Tuesday will present budget proposals on Capitol Hill meant to stabilize the nation’s debt.

The national competition marks the first “Fiscal Challenge” event in Washington and the winner will be announced at noon Tuesday.


Students were tasked with producing budget plans that stabilize the federal debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio over a 25-year period so that debt would equal 72 to 74 percent of GDP by 2039.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected that debt would rise to 77 percent of GDP by 2025 and surge to 106 percent of GDP in 2039.

The four judges for the competition include Jared Bernstein from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Charles Blahous of The Hoover Institute and Mercatus, Donald Marron of The Urban Institute and Steve Bell of the Bipartisan Policy Center.

The competition comes as Republicans in Congress prepare to merge their two budget blueprints from the House and Senate and strike a deal before holding votes on spending bills. If they get a deal, it would be the first one a Republican-controlled Congress has produced in a decade.