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The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization focused on building a brighter economic future for all Americans. Browse news from the Foundation, and read about our upcoming events.

Blog Posts
The Federal Government’s Support for Low-Income Housing Expanded during the Pandemic

The federal government spent $90 billion on housing assistance in 2021, an increase of almost 70 percent from the preceding year, largely due to legislation enacted in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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June 24, 2022
Blog Posts
What Happens To State Governments When Federal Funds Run Out?

The legislative response to COVID-19 has been an essential part of supporting Americans and the economy through the crisis. However, states are now navigating how to avoid a budget shortfall (sometimes referred to as a “fiscal cliff”) once federal aid wanes.

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June 22, 2022
Infographics
Infographic: The Facts About U.S. Defense Spending

National security is both a vital priority and a significant part of the federal budget.

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June 16, 2022
Infographics
Spending on Prescription Drugs Has Been Growing Exponentially over the Past Few Decades

The growing cost of prescription drugs presents a significant challenge to the quality and affordability of healthcare in the United States.

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June 16, 2022
Analysis
Higher Interest Rates and the National Debt

Higher short- and long-term Treasury rates mean that the federal government’s borrowing costs will also rise, thereby generating significant consequences for the budget and the national debt.

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June 15, 2022
Blog Posts
What is the Primary Deficit?

The primary deficit focuses on the difference between government revenues and spending, excluding interest payments. Learn more about the U.S. primary deficit.

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June 14, 2022
Blog Posts
8 Startling Facts About the U.S. Fiscal Outlook

At the end of May, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released new projections of the nation’s fiscal and economic outlook, their first report since July 2021.

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June 10, 2022
Blog Posts
New York Has One of the Most Complex and Decentralized Debt Structures Among States

Unlike the federal government, which currently records $30 trillion in debt, most state governments have balanced budget requirements (BBRs) for their operating budgets which only permit borrowing for certain capital projects.

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June 9, 2022
Blog Posts
What Is the National Debt Costing Us?

Programs that millions of Americans depend on and care about may be feeling a squeeze from interest costs on our high and rising national debt.

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June 9, 2022
Press Releases & Statements
‘Student Debt Smarter’ Launched to Help Students Considering College Loans

New student debt affordability calculator empowers students as they pursue college and career goals.

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June 9, 2022
Blog Posts
Peterson Foundation Launches Student Debt Smarter to Empower the Next Generation

Student debt is one of the biggest challenges young people will face as they prepare to enter adulthood, and is often their first encounter with debt.

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June 9, 2022
Blog Posts
Despite Decades of Warnings, Social Security and Medicare Depletion Dates Have Been Getting Closer

The depletion dates for Social Security’s Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund and Medicare’s Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund have been relatively well known for the past 20 years and are now rapidly approaching.

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June 8, 2022
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation Statement on Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports

“The writing on the wall couldn’t be any more clear: Social Security and Medicare remain on a dangerously unsustainable path," said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

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June 2, 2022
Blog Posts
Five Charts about the Future of Social Security and Medicare

The Social Security and Medicare Trustees released their annual reports, which show that these vital programs are on an unsustainable path.

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June 2, 2022
Blog Posts
Despite a Slight Improvement in Projections, Social Security and Medicare Are Still Facing Serious Shortfalls

The Social Security Trustees note that the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund is now expected to become depleted in 2034, compared to 2033 in last year’s report.

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June 2, 2022
Blog Posts
Why Did the Federal Government Get Involved in Student Loans?

Skyrocketing student debt has generated significant discussion about ways to improve the financing of higher education in the United States.

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June 1, 2022
Blog Posts
The United States Spends More on Defense than the Next 9 Countries Combined

U.S. defense spending increased substantially from 2020 to 2021 relative to other countries.

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June 1, 2022
Explainers
Budget Basics: National Defense

The United States spent $754 billion on national defense during fiscal year (FY) 2021 according to the Office of Management and Budget, which amounted to 11 percent of federal spending.

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June 1, 2022
Blog Posts
Interest Costs on the National Debt Set to Reach Historic Highs in the Next Decade

Driven by rising interest rates and the accumulation of federal debt, interest will nearly triple in the next 10 years and reach a historic high relative to the size of the economy by 2032.

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May 31, 2022
Press Releases & Statements
Six Months from Election Day, Strong Majority of Democrats and Republicans Cite National Debt as Top-Three Priority

“Six months from an important election, and as Americans face the challenges of high inflation, rising interest rates and economic uncertainty, it’s no surprise that voters are deeply concerned about our unsustainable national debt and budget outlook,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.

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May 26, 2022
Blog Posts
Interest Costs Rise Sharply in Latest CBO Report

While this year’s deficit looks much better primarily due to the expiration of pandemic relief programs, CBO projects that the deficit will soon begin to climb again.

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May 25, 2022
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation Statement on CBO 10-Year Budget and Economic Outlook

“The most important takeaway from today’s CBO report is that interest costs are higher, adding to an already unsustainable fiscal outlook," said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

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May 25, 2022
Blog Posts
Do Higher Interest Rates Make a Debt Crisis More Likely?

The likelihood of a return to higher interest rates is “both reasonably likely at some point and potentially calamitous for the federal government and broader economy.”

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May 23, 2022
Blog Posts
How Much Does the Government Spend on International Affairs?

Federal spending for international affairs, which supports American diplomacy and development aid, is a small portion of the U.S. budget.

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May 23, 2022
Blog Posts
How Do Federal Student Loans Affect the National Debt?

Did you know that the federal government is the direct lender for nearly all student loans in the U.S., lending trillions of dollars to millions of borrowers to help increase access to higher education?

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May 17, 2022
Infographics
Infographic: U.S. Healthcare Spending

Improving our healthcare system to deliver better quality care at lower cost is critically important to our nation’s long-term economic and fiscal well-being.

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May 13, 2022
Blog Posts
President Highlights Importance of Deficit Reduction

President Biden, speaking from the White House today, highlighted deficit reduction as a key way to relieve inflationary pressure and put our nation on a more sustainable economic path.

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May 4, 2022
Blog Posts
How Does the Tax System Work?

The federal government finances its operations with taxes, fees, and other receipts collected from many different sectors of the economy. The largest sources of revenues are individual income taxes and payroll taxes.

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May 3, 2022
Blog Posts
Nearly 30 million Americans Had No Health Insurance During the First Year of the Pandemic

In 2020, as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic took hold, 28 million people — or 8.6 percent of the population — were uninsured.

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May 2, 2022
Press Releases & Statements
The Becker Friedman Institute Announces $1 Million Grant from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation

Funding Will Support New Research to Analyze Economic Implications of COVID-19 Pandemic, Illuminate Solutions for Policymakers

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April 29, 2022
Press Releases & Statements
US Fiscal Confidence Falls as Nation Faces Higher Inflation and Unsustainable Budget Outlook

“As we continue to face significant economic turbulence and uncertainty, fiscal confidence is near a record low, because voters know that our growing national debt makes it more difficult to build a strong and stable future,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.

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April 28, 2022
Blog Posts
Why the American Healthcare System Underperforms

Healthcare in the United States is very expensive — but we don’t get what we pay for.

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April 27, 2022
Explainers
How Do States Pay for Medicaid?

Medicaid’s role in state budgets is unique, since the program acts as both an expenditure and the largest source of federal support in state budgets.

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April 26, 2022
Infographics
Infographic: How the U.S. Tax System Works

One issue that most lawmakers and voters agree on is that our tax system needs reform.

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April 22, 2022
Blog Posts
How Do Marginal Income Tax Rates Work — and What if We Increased Them?

Some lawmakers favor substantial increases to marginal tax rates. Let’s look at how marginal tax rates and brackets work.

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April 14, 2022
Explainers
10 Largest Budget Functions

Here are the top ten spending categories for the federal budget.

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April 13, 2022
Blog Posts
How Have Prescription Drug Prices Changed Over Time?

In the coming years, it will be important for policymakers to look for ways to ensure that life-saving and life-improving medications are affordable and available for Americans, and at the same time, ease pressure on our unsustainable fiscal outlook.

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April 1, 2022
Press Releases & Statements
US Fiscal Confidence Near Record Low as Nation Enters Era of Rising Interest Rates and Economic Uncertainty

“Rising interest rates mean rising interest costs, and Americans understand that’s a major problem for a country that’s $30 trillion in debt,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.

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March 31, 2022
Blog Posts
Who Benefits More from Tax Breaks — High or Low-Income Earners?

The benefits from tax breaks do not flow equally to households of different income levels.

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March 29, 2022
Blog Posts
President Biden’s Budget Reduces Deficits, but Debt Would Remain High

In an important acknowledgement of our nation’s unsustainable fiscal outlook, the President’s budget for fiscal year 2023 proposes to reduce deficits by $1 trillion over the next decade relative to current law.

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March 28, 2022
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation Statement on President’s Budget

“This budget acknowledges the need for deficit reduction, and represents a positive step and starting point for action on stabilizing our national debt" said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

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March 28, 2022
Explainers
Budget Basics: Tax Expenditures

Tax expenditures can come in the form of exclusions, exemptions, deductions, and credits.

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March 21, 2022
Blog Posts
What Is the Difference Between the Statutory and Effective Tax Rate?

The statutory tax rate is the percentage imposed by law; the effective tax rate is the percentage of income actually paid by an individual or a company after taking into account tax breaks.

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March 21, 2022
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation Statement on Fed Action

“Today’s Fed action is an important reminder that interest rates do not remain low forever, and have significant implications for our national debt," said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

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March 16, 2022
Blog Posts
What is a Continuing Resolution?

A continuing resolution is a temporary funding measure that Congress can use to fund the federal government for a limited amount of time.

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March 16, 2022
Blog Posts
The Fed Hikes Interest Rates to Curb High Inflation, But With Implications for the National Debt

Today, the Federal Reserve announced an increase in the target for the federal funds rate, the interest rate at which commercial banks lend to each other overnight.

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March 16, 2022
Explainers
What is Inflation and Why Does it Matter?

Here’s an overview of inflation, why it matters, and how it’s managed.

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March 16, 2022
Blog Posts
How Are We Paying for the Federal Response to the Coronavirus?

The federal government has enacted five pieces of legislation that provide relief to individuals and corporations that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To finance those provisions, the Treasury Department has ramped up its borrowing.

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March 15, 2022
Blog Posts
The Federal Reserve Will Begin Reducing Its Holdings of Treasury Notes and Bonds

Since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began, the U.S. Federal Reserve has significantly ramped up its holdings of Treasury securities as part of a broader effort to counteract the economic impact of the public health emergency.

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March 15, 2022
Blog Posts
Four Simple Scenarios That Show How Marginal Rates and Tax Breaks Affect What People Actually Pay

The percentage of income that Americans pay in taxes can vary widely and depend on many factors.

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March 11, 2022
Blog Posts
What Are the Pros and Cons of Student Loan Forgiveness?

Currently, more Americans owe a greater average amount of student debt than at any time in U.S. history.

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March 4, 2022
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Center on Healthcare Announces $5M Support for New Effort to Manufacture and Distribute Low-Cost Insulin

“Far too often, life-saving medications like insulin are unaffordable or unavailable, tragically burdening millions of Americans,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which established the Peterson Center on Healthcare.

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March 3, 2022
Blog Posts
Top Four Lessons the Pandemic Taught Us about Improving Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance can be a critical government tool to ease suffering from economic downturns and hasten a recovery.

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February 25, 2022
Press Releases & Statements
Voters Deeply Concerned about Budget Outlook as State of the Union Approaches and US Faces Key Economic Challenges Including Inflation

“Our economy is grappling with very high levels of inflation and probable interest rate hikes, all on the back of our runaway national debt which hit a staggering $30 trillion this month,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.

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February 25, 2022
Blog Posts
Why Are Americans Paying More for Healthcare?

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 United States.

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February 16, 2022
Blog Posts
What Are the Costs of Permanently Expanding the CTC and the EITC?

The American Rescue Plan included a one-year expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Both programs have proven to be popular and effective in reducing child poverty.

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February 15, 2022
Blog Posts
National Debt Passes $30 Trillion, and Fiscal Confidence Sinks to Seven-Year Low

Our high and rising debt is “a big burden placed on current citizens, based on our past budgetary irresponsibility,” said Michael Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, in a recent appearance on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal.

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February 10, 2022
Blog Posts
U.S. Healthcare System Ranks Sixth Worldwide — Innovative but Fiscally Unsustainable

Spending on healthcare in the United States has far outpaced other major healthcare systems without yielding better outcomes.

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February 3, 2022
Press Releases & Statements
US Fiscal Confidence at 7-Year Low, as National Debt Surpasses $30 Trillion

As the national debt surpasses $30 trillion, voter confidence in America’s financial situation and budget outlook tied a 7-year low, according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s newest monthly index.

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February 3, 2022
Infographics
The National Debt Is Now More than $30 Trillion. What Does That Mean?

Although the debt affects each of us, it may be difficult to put such a large number into perspective and fully understand its implications.

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February 1, 2022
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation Statement on $30 Trillion National Debt Milestone

“Our high and rising debt makes us less prepared for the next pandemic, less secure against future adversaries, less resilient to the changing climate, and less able to build the strong," said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

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February 1, 2022
Blog Posts
Healthcare Spending Reaches a Record High

The rise in healthcare spending was largely driven by the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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January 28, 2022
Blog Posts
The U.S. Economy Grew at Its Fastest Rate Since 1984

The strong rebound in 2021 was partially due to the high economic growth experienced in the fourth quarter.

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January 27, 2022
Blog Posts
How Much Government Spending Goes to Children?

Interest costs on the national debt are expected to rapidly outstrip spending on children in coming years.

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January 25, 2022
Blog Posts
How Have States Used Their Direct COVID Relief Funds?

Here are some notable trends showing how lower levels of government have spent some of their relief funds.

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January 14, 2022
Blog Posts
Spending on Unemployment Insurance is Returning to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Federal outlays for Unemployment Insurance are rapidly returning to previous levels. Nevertheless, unemployment remains higher than pre-pandemic levels.

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January 14, 2022
Blog Posts
Top Economists Weigh in on Rising Inflation, Growing Debt, and America’s Economic Future

In 2022, America faces key questions about rising inflation, new COVID variants, growing national debt and an uncertain economic recovery. To help shed light on a complex set of factors and indicators, the Peterson Foundation brought together two leading experts for the latest edition of the Economic Forum.

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January 13, 2022
Press Releases & Statements
As National Debt Surpasses $29 Trillion, Voters Remain Highly Concerned about America’s Fiscal Outlook

At the start of 2022 with a record $29 trillion in national debt, U.S. voters of all stripes are growing more concerned about America’s unsustainable federal budget outlook, according to the non-partisan Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s newest monthly index.

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January 7, 2022
Blog Posts
The American Rescue Plan is Projected to Boost the Economy by 73¢ for Every Dollar Spent

Although the costliest measures are anticipated to contribute the most to the economy, CBO found those measures are not necessarily expected to provide the most bang for the buck.

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January 5, 2022
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