March 1, 2017

The Fiscal Month in Review: Questions about Policy Specifics Remain

President Trump delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress on February 28. In a statement on the president’s address, Michael A. Peterson, president and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, said:

“President Trump outlined a range of policy priorities for the country, but an opportunity was missed to highlight the importance of addressing our national debt. . . . As our leaders consider reforms in key areas such as healthcare and tax reform, we must enact policies that also improve our nation’s fiscal outlook. Looking ahead, the President and Congress have the opportunity to work together to stabilize our debt and provide a strong foundation for economic growth."

Trump’s first budget, which will be a topline (or “skinny”) budget, is expected on the Hill the week of March 13. The president’s budget kicks off the annual budget process, and the first budget proposal from a new president is always eagerly anticipated as a tangible sign of how a new administration will attempt to translate campaign promises into actual policy.

Trump outlined some broad strokes of his budget proposal on February 27, but lawmakers and voters are anxious to see where the administration stands on a number of key budgetary issues:

Despite the political uncertainty, the economy continues to make steady economic gains. The Fiscal Confidence Index for February was 60, returning to the same level as December, after a brief uptick in January.

Photo credit: Michael Vadon

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