Budget Basics Archive

The nation's long-term fiscal outlook is unsustainable. Publicly held debt currently equals 70 percent of gross domestic product, the most common measure of an economy's size.
Mar 1, 2012
Capitol Building Washington DC
PREVIOUS: A Brighter Economic Future For more information about America’s fiscal challenge and potential solutions, visit the Peter G. Peterson Foundation at www.pgpf.org. The following websites also provide a wealth of information on the U.S. budget and various policy areas. American Enterprise Institute
Social Security is an important program that is part of the fabric of America. We must ensure that Social Security is available for future generations.
The defense share of the federal budget has averaged 21 percent over the past two decades.
Making changes to defense, health care and Social Security will help us reduce our debt, and also leave money to fund other critical responsibilities and invest in our future.
America faces a growing crisis. Our federal government has accumulated a $13.6 trillion debt over the last few decades, and this debt is expected to grow significantly in coming years.
In order to balance our budget and reduce the amount of debt the government takes on each year, we must match the level of government revenues with the level of spending.
The U.S. spent $187 billion on interest payments alone in 2009.
The Peter G. Peterson Foundation presents a primer on the federal budget.
Once we have a plan in place that reduces spending and increases revenues, a strong annual budget process for the government would help us stay on track.

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.