Administration and Congressional Teams "Get Fiscal"

Jun 12, 2009

David Walker, Robert Reischauer Play in Tournament to Raise Awareness of America's Budget Challenges

WASHINGTON, DC (June 12, 2009) - Fiscal policymakers representing the Treasury Department, other federal agencies, think tanks and Congress will face off against college students in the Budgetball Tournament on the National Mall this Sunday from 11:00am to 2:00pm ET. Players will include David Walker, former U.S. Comptroller General, and Robert Reischauer, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

"Budgetball is an innovative way to teach students about saving, investing, taxes and debt in a fun, accessible way," said House Budget Committee Ranking Member Paul Ryan (R-WI) in a statement. "And the fact that this is a bi-cameral, bi-partisan team effort sets a great example."

Budgetball is a team sport similar to Ultimate Frisbee and designed to build awareness, especially among young people, about the nation’s growing financial challenges and the trade-offs involved in solving them. The tournament is hosted by the National Academy of Public Administration, which helped design the game, and by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which supported its development. National Journal Group is the media co-sponsor of the event.

"Budgetball is an innovative way to get Americans thinking strategically about the serious problem of our growing deficit and debt levels and how they can impact each and every one of us," said Walker, the former Comptroller General and now the Peterson Foundation President and CEO. "Participants come to understand how the decisions we make every day can help or hinder efforts to put our financial house in order."

Eight teams will compete on the grounds of the Washington Monument this Sunday. Teams will represent the Legislative Branch, the Executive Branch, and other VIPs in Washington. Among those who are expected to play: Treasury Department staff and budget experts including Urban Institute President Robert Reischauer and congressional budget committee staff. The winning teams from tournaments at Philander Smith College in Little Rock and the University of Miami also will compete for the championship. For more information on the tournament and participating teams, please visit:

"Budgetball strips away the complicated jargon and confusing details of the federal budget by turning ‘fiscal’ into "physical," said Jennifer Dorn, President and CEO of the National Academy of Public Administration. "It is a catalyst for conversations about fiscal responsibility - both personal and national."

Budgetball is a non-contact sport of quick passes, tough defense, and bold comebacks designed to increase awareness about the national debt and encourage discussion about America's fiscal future. The game is punctuated by strategy sessions during which players can take immediate playing advantages that can be paid for by taking sacrifices later in the game, or they may take sacrifices early in order to pay for advantages in later play. The game was developed by the National Academy in collaboration with PETLAB at Parsons The New School for Design and professional game developer Area Code.

Participating Teams Include:

  • Stress Tested (US Treasury Department)
  • Budget Hawks (House Budget Committee)
  • Fiscal Fanatics (Brookings Institution, Concord Coalition, Concerned Youth of America)
  • Debt Busters (Urban Institute)
  • Baseliners (Office of Management and Budget)
  • Money Makers (Philander Smith College)
  • (University of Miami)
  • Real Reformers (Peterson Foundation and National Academy of Public Administration)

To be part of the Budgetball experience, come to the National Mall (on the monument grounds off Constitution Ave., facing the White House) on June 14. Opening ceremonies start at 11:00 a.m., and the championship game - featuring the last two teams standing in this single-elimination tournament - will start at 1:15 p.m. In addition to the athletic prowess on the field, there will also be information concerning debt at the national and the personal level.

Media wishing to cover the Tournament should contact Elizabeth Wilner or Myra Sung at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, 212-542-9200, or and

About the Peter G. Peterson Foundation:
Founded by the Chairman Emeritus of The Blackstone Group with a commitment of $1 billion, the Foundation is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the nature and urgency of key economic challenges threatening America's future and to accelerating action on them. To address these challenges successfully, we work to bring Americans together to find sensible, long-term solutions that transcend age, party lines and ideological divides in order to achieve real results. For more information, see

About the National Academy of Public Administration:
The National Academy of Public Administration is a non-profit, independent coalition of top public management and organizational leaders that tackles the nation's most critical and complex challenges. With a network of more than 600 distinguished Fellows and an experienced professional staff, the National Academy is uniquely qualified and trusted across government to provide objective advice and practical solutions based on systematic research and expert analysis. Established in 1967 and chartered by Congress, the National Academy continues to make a positive impact by helping federal, state and local governments respond effectively to current circumstances and changing conditions.

About National Journal Group:
National Journal Group is the leading source of nonpartisan reporting on the current political environment and emerging policy trends. National Journal Group's online and broadcast properties include National Journal, CongressDaily, The Hotline,, The Capital Source, The Almanac of American Politics, and "Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal."

For Media Inquiries:
Myra Sung

What Does the Debt Mean for Our Future?

We all have a responsibility to build a brighter fiscal and economic future for the next generation.

National Debt Clock

See the latest numbers and learn more about the causes of our high and rising debt.