About the Fiscal I.Q. Quiz

Given the recent failure of the Congressional “Supercommittee” on deficit reduction and the debt crises facing several European nations, it is more important than ever that all Americans, and their elected officials, be knowledgeable about the facts regarding our nation’s financial condition and fiscal outlook. This is especially important given the upcoming Presidential and Congressional elections.

The Fiscal I.Q. Quiz, developed by the Comeback America Initiative, focuses on our federal government’s financial condition and fiscal outlook. The 30 question quiz includes two types of questions: ones that test knowledge of fiscal facts (FISCAL KNOWLEDGE), and others that will gauge whether the person taking the quiz has views about our nation’s finances and potential solutions that are realistic, as compared to the views of most objective federal budget experts* (FISCAL WISDOM). After completing the quiz, participants are provided a Fiscal I.Q. Score, which is the average of two scores: one for FISCAL KNOWLEDGE, and one for FISCAL WISDOM.

FISCAL KNOWLEDGE score is out of 100 total points, and is based on 20 questions (5 points each). The rating scale for all possible FISCAL KNOWLEDGE scores is:

  • 90-100 – “Excellent, you are very knowledgeable about the facts regarding our fiscal problems. This is impressive given the amount of political rhetoric, myths and false assertions made about our nation’s financial condition. Be sure to share that knowledge and this quiz with others.”
  • 80-85 – “Very Good. You are knowledgeable about the fiscal facts, but be sure to learn about what you got wrong so that you can be even more knowledgeable. There is a lot of political rhetoric, myths and false assertions about our nation’s financial condition that must be confronted. Be sure to share your knowledge and this quiz with others.”
  • 70-75 – “Fair. You know some of the fiscal facts, but could do better. It’s understandable due to the political rhetoric, myths and false assertions about our nation’s financial condition. Be sure to learn more about what you got wrong so you can be more knowledgeable, and be sure to share that knowledge and this quiz with others.”
  • 65 – “Poor. You have limited knowledge of the facts, and need to improve so that you can be fully engaged in the fiscal debate over America’s future. Your score is somewhat understandable given the amount of political rhetoric, myths, and false assertions about our nation’s financial condition. Be sure to learn more about what you got wrong so you can be more knowledgeable, and then be sure to share that knowledge and this quiz with others.”
  • Below 65 – “Failed. You are not very knowledgeable about the facts and should improve your knowledge so that you can be fully engaged in the fiscal debate over America’s future. Your score is somewhat understandable given the amount of political rhetoric, myths, and false assertions about our nation’s financial condition. Be sure to learn more about what you got wrong so you can be more knowledgeable, and then be sure to share that knowledge and this quiz with others.”

All FISCAL KNOWLEDGE questions and answers are based on factual evidence. For those questions and answers that include any data or statistics, an applicable source is mentioned in the explanations included at the end of the test.

FISCAL WISDOM score is out of 100 total points, and is based on 10 questions (10 points each). The rating scale for all possible FISCAL WISDOM scores is:

  • 100 – “Great. Your views are in line with a consensus of budget experts. You can be part of the solution.”
  • 80-90 – “You may be part of the solution, but you have some answers that are not in line with a consensus of budget experts. Be sure to learn about what you got wrong.”
  • Below 80 – “Your answers suggest you are part of the problem. Your views on the solutions needed to fix our fiscal problems are not in line with a consensus of budget experts. You need to do more homework and reconsider your views.”

While FISCAL WISDOM questions and answers are more opinion based, they are grounded in factual evidence. The explanations provided at the end of the quiz include the factual evidence on which these questions are based.

*The objective federal budget experts include members the Comeback America Initiative’s Advisory Council, as well as the results of various bipartisan deficit reduction commissions, including the Bowles-Simpson Commission, and the Bipartisan Policy Council (Domenici/Rivlin) Commission.

You can view the full Fiscal IQ Quiz in a hard copy here.

In the interest of full transparency and education, you can view the full quiz along with answers and explanations here. This resource should be used only after taking the quiz.