My students and I have been exploring the New Deal in my American History class. Remember? FDR and his alphabet soup?
“A Mad Tea Party.”
Well it got me thinking about government spending. We looked at unemployment numbers (25% at the height of the Great Depression, currently hovering around 9%), then we looked at government spending numbers.
For 5 points of extra credit on their next test, I asked my students to guess what percentage of American GDP was spent at the height of Roosevelt’s New Deal. The lowest guess was 2.7%, and the highest guess was 98%. It makes me realize how little we know about how much money our government is spending.
I had two winners…
The next 5 points on the test?
What percentage of GDP is our government currently spending?