Peterson Foundation Statement on State of the Union Address

Jan 30, 2018

NEW YORK — Michael A. Peterson, President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, commented this evening on the President’s State of the Union Address. Peterson said

"The President outlined a number of priorities in his speech tonight, but he did not mention the single greatest threat to America’s economic future: our unsustainable national debt.

"Further, the President outlined new initiatives, but didn’t identify ways to pay for his priorities. In order to truly help our economy, infrastructure and other new investments must be paid for, because adding more debt hurts our economy.

"With our national debt at $20 trillion and rising, it is essential that lawmakers address our unsustainable fiscal outlook. Following last year’s tax bill, annual deficits are already slated to reach $1 trillion as early as next year. If programs are important enough to be implemented, they are important enough to find ways to pay for them.

"Americans understand that our national debt is unsustainable, and they are calling on their leaders to find ways to improve the economy and our fiscal outlook at the same time."

Earlier this week, the Peterson Foundation released a poll showing voters across party lines were looking for the President to put forward plans to reduce the national debt during the State of the Union speech:

  • 92% of voters said they believe it’s important for the President to address the country’s national debt problem in the State of the Union speech, with 90% saying it’s important for him to discuss ways to reduce the federal deficit.

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