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Here are eleven charts that tell America’s fiscal story for 2019 — and show how our outlook went from bad to worse over the last 12 months.
The United States leads the world in an unfortunate category: the pace of growth in its debt.
“At $23 trillion and counting, the national debt is a major concern for the vast majority of Americans across party lines,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.
A continuing resolution is a temporary funding measure that Congress can use to fund the federal government for a limited amount of time.
The rising cost of prescription drugs is a key driver of overall healthcare spending in the U.S. This trend has significant implications not only for Americans who rely on medications, but also for our nation’s budget and fiscal outlook.
At a hearing on the U.S. Economic Outlook for the Joint Economic Committee on November 13, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell expressed concern about America’s fiscal outlook and how it may affect our economic future.
A strong fiscal outlook is an essential foundation for a growing, thriving economy.
As more time passes since enactment, and as more data become available, economists continue to weigh in with analyses of the TCJA’s effects.
There are three widely used measures of federal debt. What are the important differences between these measurements?
At $23 trillion and rising, the national debt threatens America’s economic future. Here are the top ten reasons why the national debt matters.
Although the debt affects each of us, it may be difficult to put such a large number into perspective and fully understand its implications.
“Reaching $23 trillion in debt on Halloween is a scary milestone for our economy and the next generation, but Washington shows no fear," said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
In its annual report on income and poverty, the U.S. Census Bureau publishes data on national economic measures such as household income, earnings, wealth, employment, and poverty.
Yesterday, the Federal Reserve announced a decrease in the federal funds rate — the interest rate at which commercial banks lend to each other overnight.
Growth earlier in the year was spurred by appropriations enacted in early 2018 as well as by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), though the stimulus effects of the latter are fading.
“Last year's deficit was nearly $1 trillion and it’s on track to continue to grow rapidly, so voters are rightfully concerned about what our fiscal outlook means for our future,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.
It may be counterintuitive, but government shutdowns are expensive. They are also bad for the economy.
“If we stay on this path, we’ll leave our kids and grandkids with diminished resources, opportunity and quality of life," said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
The United States currently faces a range of complex challenges including deteriorating infrastructure, a changing climate, and an inadequate system of education.
Income levels for Americans vary across geography, race, and gender.
Continuously updated billboards put a spotlight on $22 trillion national debt as part of 2020 campaign conversation.
As another fiscal year of budget uncertainty and rising deficits comes to an end , the vast majority of Americans want the president and Congress to address the national debt.
Spending on children is shrinking as a percent of GDP.
To account for the continuation of current policies, CBO also prepares what is known as an alternative fiscal scenario (AFS), which can be helpful for lawmakers and the general public in understanding a range of potential outcomes.
A key assessment of poverty in America is the Official Poverty Measure (OPM), which is calculated by the United States Census Bureau using a range of income and economic data.
While Congress has not taken steps toward reining in our high and rising national debt, earlier this summer lawmakers did address a couple of pending fiscal items
The budget projections released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in August reaffirm the perilous path of deficits and debt expected over the next decade.
“Voters across party lines want fiscal leadership from their elected officials, in order to better manage the national debt and put America on a stronger economic course for the future,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.
As a share of the economy, the national debt is at its highest level since immediately after World War II. Annual deficits are approaching $1 trillion and they are projected to increase with no end in sight.
The United States spent $631 billion on national defense during fiscal year (FY) 2018 according to the Office of Management and Budget, which amounts to 15 percent of the federal budget.
CBO projects that the deficit for 2019 will be $960 billion. That’s $63 billion (or 7 percent) above its estimate from just three months ago.
“We all know we are already on a troubling fiscal path, but today’s CBO report shows us that our leaders are making things considerably worse," said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
Many Americans, young and old, may be confused by the complex set of issues that comprise how the government raises revenues and allocates them.
Most working Americans are subject to payroll taxes, which are usually deducted automatically from an employee’s paycheck. Employers are also often subject to these types of taxes.
While there has been positive news about recent wage growth, looking back over the last 40 years reveals a different story for the average worker.
While Congress and the President move forward on a budget deal that will add $1.7 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years, voters across party lines are increasingly concerned about the nation’s finances.
While growth in 2019 has exceeded expectations so far, growth rates largely have conformed to forecasts, and many economists expect growth to remain lower in 2019 than in 2018.
“This deal ignores our large and growing fiscal imbalances and is a step in the wrong direction for our economy." said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
The cost and quality of the U.S. healthcare system is one of the most prominent issues facing everyday Americans. It is a top policy concern for voters, a key indicator of economic efficiency, and a significant driver of the national debt.
Americans and the economy are vulnerable to a series of high-stakes fiscal deadlines, with an uncertain path forward.
If the president and Congress are unable to come to an agreement on the amount of the budget caps, they will risk either a harmful government shutdown or a potential automatic across-the-board cancellation of budgetary resources.
This year’s report demonstrates why lawmakers should focus their attention toward improving our nation’s debt path as soon as possible.
The primary deficit excludes interest payments, thereby measuring the gap between all other spending and total revenues collected.
The deficit is projected to reach $1 trillion this year, according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which released its annual mid-session review on Friday.
“The administration projects that the deficit is on track to hit $1 trillion this year, even though we are in a strong economy and low interest rate environment," said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
The words debt and deficit come up frequently in debates and conversations about the policy decisions that lawmakers face. The two concepts are similar, but are often confused.
CBO projects that if current laws remain in place, federal debt will rise to 144 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) within 30 years – far exceeding its all-time high, and nearly doubling today’s level.
As lawmakers consider a range of costly new tax and spending proposals, voters across party lines are urging their leaders to prioritize the nation’s high and rising debt.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its 2019 Long-Term Budget Outlook, highlighting the significant fiscal challenges facing our nation.
“As America’s leaders consider costly new spending proposals and tax cuts, today’s CBO report is a timely reality check," Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation
There is one cap for national defense and another cap for non-defense programs.
Tax expenditures can come in the form of exclusions, exemptions, deductions, and credits.
Peterson Foundation’s ‘Solutions Initiative’ Produces Policy Options to Build Stronger Fiscal Future for America.
Oakland University’s innovative ‘Fiscally Fit’ campaign to engage students on the nation’s $22 trillion-and-growing debt stood out among more than 100 campus teams nationwide
10th annual Fiscal Summit includes Speaker Nancy Pelosi, White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth, Ways and Means Ranking Member Kevin Brady, New CBO Director Phillip Swagel and other leading policy voices from across the political spectrum
Americans want to live in a nation with widespread opportunity, a positive leadership role in the world, and a bright economic future for generations to come.
“Our nation faces a range of critical challenges, but Americans understand that managing the debt is a key part of building America’s future,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.
“Alice was a pioneering leader, a committed public servant and a dedicated advocate for fiscal responsibility and sensible solutions,” Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation
CBO estimates that the national debt would climb from 78 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 to 87 percent of GDP by 2029 under the president’s policies.
Federal trust funds bear little resemblance to their private-sector counterparts.
The amount spent by the federal government on interest is large and growing. Recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections show that net interest will become the third largest “program” in the budget by 2025.
Under current law, the U.S. budget deficit will exceed $1 trillion each year beginning in 2022 and total $11.4 trillion over the upcoming decade according to projections by The Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
“Today’s CBO report demonstrates America’s dangerous and irresponsible fiscal path. Deficits will soon reach $1 trillion annually and grow from there, with no end in sight or plan for the future," Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation
Overall healthcare costs — including all private and public spending — are anticipated to rise by an average of 5.5 percent per year over the next decade.
Every year the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees issue reports on the fiscal health of these vital programs.
The report anticipates that in 2020 — for the first time since 1982 — the program’s total costs will exceed its total income.
Medicare faces significant financial challenges in future years because of rising healthcare spending and an aging population.
Medicare is an essential health insurance program serving millions of Americans, and a major part of the federal budget and our fiscal outlook.
Social Security is the largest single program in the federal budget and makes up approximately one quarter of total federal spending.
“The economy is growing, but so is the federal deficit, and that’s highly unusual.” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.
Growth over the next few years is expected to slow as the recent fiscal stimulus wanes.
The Social Security and Medicare Trustees released their annual reports, which show that these vital programs are on an unsustainable path.
The latest trustees reports make clear that Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries face substantial cuts in the near future unless policymakers take action to make these vital programs solvent.
Debt held by the public would reach record levels relative to the size of the economy within the next two decades, and possibly as soon as 2032 — just 13 years from now.
Tax breaks totaled nearly $1.5 trillion in 2018. To put that in perspective, that’s more than the government spends on Social Security, Medicare, or defense.
The fairness of our federal tax system is a hotly debated issue. Too often, however, those debates confuse or misrepresent important facts because they focus on one type of tax in isolation rather than the various taxes that people face in aggregate.
Some lawmakers favor substantial increases to marginal tax rates. Let’s look at how marginal tax rates and brackets work.
Although the debt-to-GDP ratio would decline under the president’s budget, the budget misses an opportunity to address the structural causes of our debt, and relies instead on overly optimistic economic assumptions and reductions in spending that are unlikely to come to pass.
Lower levels of debt allow governments to respond more effectively to a recession or financial crisis.
“The vast majority of Americans across party lines continue to urge national leaders to manage the debt,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.
Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, commented today following the release of the Monthly Treasury Statement, which showed a deficit of $234 billion.
Unique Research Project from Peterson Foundation and Ford Foundation Convenes Authors of 31 New Papers Exploring America’s Most Significant Long-Term Challenges
Leading experts, scholars will discuss 31 new research papers on trends that will shape America’s future economy and society.
High healthcare spending is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if it leads to better health outcomes. However, that is not the case in the U.S.
Although the budget would achieve some deficit reduction on paper under the administration’s calculations, it fails to address the key drivers of our long-term debt and relies on overly-optimistic assumptions for economic growth.
“Today’s proposal marks the beginning of the budget process, and it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.
Increasing the debt limit allows the Treasury to borrow funds to pay for government obligations that have already been incurred as the result of laws and budgets approved by the President and Congress.
If lawmakers do not agree on raising or suspending the debt limit before the extraordinary measures are exhausted, there would be severe consequences for both the federal government and the economy.
“The vast majority of Americans across party lines, including younger voters, are calling on the President and Congress to take action on our national debt,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.
The 50 U.S. states pull in over $2 trillion in revenue each year and, along with local governments, employ nearly 20 million people. A new report sheds light on budgets at the state level, grading performance and identifying best practices for improvement.
“Reaching this unfortunate milestone so rapidly is the latest sign that our fiscal situation is not only unsustainable, but accelerating," Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, said.
“No review of the state of our union is complete without acknowledging our nation’s high and rising debt," Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, said.
The federal budget is on an unsustainable and damaging fiscal trajectory, according to a new report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
“Washington’s failure to address the national debt and critical budgetary issues has a direct negative effect on Americans’ confidence,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.
Despite a growing economy and low unemployment, federal budget deficits are projected to grow over the next 10 years.
“CBO has once again provided clear evidence that we must do something about America’s dangerous fiscal situation," Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, said.
“This shutdown has negatively affected the lives of millions of Americans, disrupted essential government services, and unnecessarily harmed the economy." Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, said.
Putting our nation on a sustainable fiscal path creates a positive environment for growth, opportunity, and prosperity. Unfortunately, America is on a dangerous long-term fiscal path.
Since the shutdown began, about 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed or are working without pay.
“This new rules package includes important reforms that can help encourage fiscal responsibility." Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, said.
Budget process rules like PAYGO help ensure that fiscal considerations are an important part of policymaking.
With a new Congress set to convene in the midst of a costly government shutdown, Americans hold deep concerns and a widespread belief that the country is moving in the wrong direction when it comes to the national debt.
The 116th Congress also marks a return to divided government with the Senate controlled by Republicans and the House by Democrats. This new landscape in Washington means there is both a requirement and a valuable opportunity for lawmakers to work together on fiscal solutions.