**Budget**

According to the graph, by about how much did the U. S. federal budget increase from 1992 to 2001?

**Approaches**

Add the negative (200 Ð 300 = –100 or180 Ð 300 = –120)

Work backward (–300 – 200 = –500)

Does the negative result mean that the budget has decreased since 1992?

Write backward but without a negative (300 Ð 200 = 100 or 300 Ð 180 = 120)

Subtract visually, or by subtracting a negative (480 = 300 + 180 or 500 = 300 + 200 or 480 = 300 Ð (Ð180))

Use percentages: 200/–300 is about –67%.

"By how much" often does refer to a percentage, but not if one number is negative.

Call the result "trillions" instead of "billions."

Discuss reasons for change (Reagan-Bush vs Clinton)

Discuss non-constant dollars

Add up deficits to get large value ("500 trillion")

**Your
experience**

Have you used this problem with a class and seen approaches other than(or more specific than) those mentioned above? Or do you have other comments or criticisms or stories? If so, please tell us!

*Last updated 30 November, 2004*