The federal budget is $5-plus trillion, our debt is $27.1 trillion ($82,000 per person and growing), and critical needs remain unmet. The US and North Carolina economy, infrastructure, safety, and much more rely on the federal budget. Shouldn’t we understand how it is constructed? How spending decisions are made and by whom? How the US and local economy are impacted? The potential changes and their impacts? How our tax dollars are used and who benefits? What the government does when the unexpected happens? What makes up the debt? How accountability helps identify the actual results and impacts after congressional legislation is implemented? These and other questions will be explored and discussed with class engagement and participation. What we don't know, we can't change. Would you write a check every day without knowing what you are buying? An informed populace and educated citizenry can drive positive change, so let’s learn together and see if we can "have our cake and eat it too." • Facilitated discussion.