American Finances

When you get into the higher difficulty levels (150% and up) as the USA is the financial situation beyond hope. It seems like you lose credit ratings and hit the debt crisis (aka point of no return) so quickly that there is no way to prevent it short of defunding everything. However not only is that all but guaranteed to get you assassinated you lose so much popularity it may be impossible to recover (unsure about this as I always get assassinated before my term is up). I know that you can just ignore the budget and go on your merry way but that’s no fun now is it? Anyways if any of you have figured out how to get past this please let me know.


I played with 200% difficulty. Here’s what you got to do:

  • Turn 1: Property Tax 50%, Community Policing Max
  • Turn 2: Income Tax 50%
  • Turn 3: State Pensions to Minimum
  • Turn 4: Tax on Capital Gaines 30%, Space Shuttle Program at Minimum, Race Discrimination Act to Max
  • Turn 5: Sales Tax 25%
    Stop “Austerity”, Start Investment:
  • Turn 6: Technology Grants Max, Science Funding Strong Increase (I didn’t go to max, but +100 bn), Hybrid Cars max, Cancel Provate Prison
  • Turn 7: Police Force Max, Cancel Prisoner Tapping, Tele Community Max
  • Turn 8: Fuel Efficiency Max, Import Tariffs 75%
  • Turn 9: Reshuffle Ministers
    Form Turn 10 on you do the nice stuff to make sure being elected again…
  • Turn 10: Petrol Tax reduce to 25%
  • Turn 11: Cancel Car Tax (never use it again, petrol tay does the same but better), Prisons to Max, Rent Controls Max
  • Turn 12: Reduce Military budget at will (fairly trained… focus at “liberal”, not “patriots”), Cancel School Vouchers (bad investment)
  • Turn 13: public schools (I increased at that point from 110 bn to 190 bn)
  • Turn 14: Mansion Tax (75%), Enterprise Investment Schemes (75%)
  • Turn 15: Internet Tax 10%
  • Turn 16: Organic Farming Max, Clean Fuel Subsidy Max (Bribes before Election :slight_smile:
    –> From this Point on: easy going…


Of cource, this works with Democracy 3, it won’t in real life. Europe is learning that at the moment… (As far as I learned, the income tax does not depend on the income of the 2.000 voters, but only on slider multiplied with GDP-coefficient. But life is not that simple.)

Of course, in real life your credit rating isn’t downgraded every six months either, giving countries more time to either grow out of their deficits or find some other solution to their fiscal problem.

Appreciate the tips Commander. It’s nice to see it is doable even if it is in possibly the most ridiculous way ever. Good luck getting anyone in the US congress to vote for those tax hikes, as we have seen the obvious financial issues do not seem to be of concern to Washington. Cwg9 I agree and I think the fluctuating credit ratings are quite silly, they have a massive impact on your finances frequently compounding a deficit until you reach the point of no return.

First you should deactivate “political capital” from option menu, if not you don’t have sufficient political capital points to do what you tell in every step.

Second I tried it. I was assasinated by a capitalistic group at turn 10.

Nope, the political capital was sufficient. But maybe there is some random start with Ministers. But i think i have always this religious woman at the second department (welfare?).
But political capital is shrinking fast, so you have to reshuffle at some point.

The rebel groups are going nuts and maybe there was an attempt to kill me. So, I had luck.

In my First attempts I always cut the Military Budget in one of the first two turns. This got me assassinated several times. The key in USA is tax increase. So, this thing in Democracy 3 is realistic. Cutting budgets is not enough and jeopardizing reelection.

France is the opposite. Taxes are already high (too high, you should decrease a little after 10 turns), political capital eben lower. Makes the race against Rating downgrade thrilling.

But 200% difficulty is over the top. The Initial deficit is half the income. I don’t have numbers right at Hand, but USA should be at 20%. 2009, the year after Lehman, the deficit should have been at his max.

I just managed to pull this off and get re-elected twice at 150%. Fixing the skills shortage seems to be a top priority, so the first thing you should do is set up Adult Education Subsidies with ample funding. Then bring up University Grants at a moderate/low level. Spending money to make money is essential, although you should be cautious about it; science projects pay off, but too slowly to be good investments here. Increasing small business grants or opening up an investment scheme might pay off fast enough to be useful.

Once you’ve got the skill shortage in decline, start grubbing for money. Lowering State Pensions is also a priority, but it’s not enough; you’ll need tax money. Alcohol taxes are wonderful, given that the simulation has them both giving you money and accomplishing desirable social objectives at the same time (the productivity increase boosts your GDP!). Carbon taxes are also good; at 13%, they won’t anger capitalists or drive away businesses, while still bringing in lots of money. Internet taxes may actually boost your GDP if you target them on-the-nose for getting rid of the Internet Crime issue. Pay attention to the way these interact with the simulation; they’ll be reducing their income sources as you increase them. You’ll have to shore up your income at various points.

Don’t forget to institute community policing and the racial discrimination act to avoid a Liberal Assassination. Raising funding for your Intelligence Service would be profitable (as the increase in GDP from reducing internet crime is worth more than the cost of the Service itself), but resist the temptation until liberals no longer want to lynch you. It might be touch and go for a while anyways - if the liberal crime squad gets going, they won’t disintegrate instantly when you get the liberals on your side and may try to squeak in a bombing attempt anyways. I actually had the religious crusaders AND the human rights group angry at me. (I legalized prostitution and gambling, y’see, to extract a little more GDP power.)

When your cabinet needs reshuffled partway through the first term (inevitable), stop and check your expenses. Give your first and best hires to the most expensive sections of the government. The savings here are important. Once your head is above water and you’re just trying to finish out your two terms of office, keep an eye on your ministers. Periodic reshuffles are needed to avoid resignation events and keep effectiveness high. You need all the political capital you can get, too, and reshuffling your ministers usually presents an opportunity to increase your PC income.

Ironically, one of the threats seems to be doing too well. If the game decides that you are “winning”, it may cause a global economic collapse… or worse, an epidemic. The global economy spends most of its time in the dumps in my games.