Why Fiscal Issues Matter in the 2018 Election

At $21 trillion and growing, the national debt is a pressing challenge for the United States. While we were already on a dangerous fiscal path, recent legislation has only made the problem worse — and therefore more urgent.

That’s why the 2018 election season is a critical opportunity for candidates to talk to voters about solutions to put us on a better path. Below is a range of nonpartisan resources to help campaigns and candidates engage Americans about our nation’s fiscal and economic future.

Fiscal in Five Minutes

Need a quick and fact-based summary about why the national debt matters this election season? Download our fiscal crash course.


How Big Is the Problem? How Does It Affect the Economy?

America's debt is historically high and on an unsustainable trajectory. Here are the latest projections.

Debt Affects Every Issue Voters Care About

Every policy issue under the sun is connected to our fiscal outlook. Read more to see how the debt relates to the issues important to you.

Debt Matters to the Next Generation

The Story Behind the Numbers

Selected charts on the long-term fiscal challenges of the United States.


The mission of the Peterson Foundation is to increase public awareness of the nature and urgency of the key fiscal challenges threatening America's future and to accelerate action on them. To address these challenges successfully, we work to bring Americans together to find and implement sensible, long-term solutions that transcend age, party lines, and ideological divides in order to achieve real results.

Bipartisan Policymaking under Divided Government

We asked experts with diverse views from across the political spectrum to share their perspectives.

National Debt Clock

See the latest numbers and learn more about the causes of our high and rising debt.