The Latest

NEWS

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.

Press Releases & Statements
Following Divisive Campaign Season, Voters Continue to See Rising National Debt as Key Issue for America’s Future

As the nation emerges from a divisive campaign season with a range of complex challenges awaiting a new administration and Congress, Americans remain deeply concerned about the rising national debt.

Read More
December 1, 2020
Blog Posts
Several Coronavirus Relief Programs are Set to Expire Soon

Here's an overview of some of the programs that face impending deadlines or are set to expire soon.

Read More
November 18, 2020
Blog Posts
The Unemployment Rate Improved Last Month — But Remains High

Despite improvements to the labor market since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate remains high, especially for non-white workers. Get the facts here.

Read More
November 18, 2020
Blog Posts
The Federal Reserve Holds More Treasury Notes and Bonds than Ever Before

Beginning in mid-March 2020, the Federal Reserve initiated an aggressive policy of quantitative easing — which involves the purchase of government securities, corporate bonds, and other financial instruments — with the aim of keeping interest rates low and injecting cash into the economy.

Read More
November 11, 2020
Blog Posts
How Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Impact Social Security’s Finances? Here’s What Four Different Analyses Say

Four analyses project a more rapid depletion of Social Security trust funds as a result of coronavirus, outpacing previous depletion projections. Get the details.

Read More
November 6, 2020
Blog Posts
What Is the Provider Relief Fund?

The CARES Act Provider Relief Fund aids hospitals and healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response. Learn how HHS has allocated funding.

Read More
November 5, 2020
Blog Posts
How Much Has Coronavirus Relief Helped Healthcare Providers?

Healthcare workers, providers, and hospitals have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, but how has the U.S. government supported the sector? Find out more.

Read More
October 30, 2020
Blog Posts
Q3 GDP Shows Big Jump, but Economy Remains Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

The increase recorded in the July–September quarter represents a significant rebound in economic activity, but many are cautioning that the recovery is far from complete, and real GDP lags significantly behind pre-pandemic levels.

Read More
October 29, 2020
Blog Posts
Peterson-FT Economic Monitor Tracks 12 Months of Voter Views on Economy, Fiscal Outlook and Coronavirus

With less than a week to go before Election Day, the Financial Times and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation have wrapped up a year-long initiative to track voter sentiment on economic and fiscal issues for the twelve months leading up to the 2020 election.

Read More
October 28, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
As Election Day Approaches, Voter Concern about the National Debt Remains High

In the waning days of the 2020 campaign and as the nation continues to endure the coronavirus pandemic, voters remain deeply concerned about the record and rising national debt.

Read More
October 27, 2020
Blog Posts
How Did the Fiscal Response to Coronavirus Help Small Businesses?

Coronavirus aid programs were implemented to provide much needed support for small businesses, but how effective have they been? Read more in our analysis.

Read More
October 23, 2020
Blog Posts
The Coronavirus Has Led to a Surge in Spending on Unemployment Compensation

The outbreak of COVID-19 has become both a public health and an economic crisis. In particular, the closure of many businesses has resulted in an unprecedented surge in unemployment claims in the United States.

Read More
October 22, 2020
Blog Posts
How Are We Paying for the Federal Response to the Coronavirus?

The federal government has enacted four pieces of legislation that provide important relief to individuals and corporations that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More
October 22, 2020
Infographics
Majority of Voters Support Higher Taxes for Wealthy and Corporations — and Want Next President to Pay for His Priorities

*/

Read More
October 20, 2020
Blog Posts
How Effective Has the Coronavirus Relief Fund Been in Helping State and Local Governments?

The Coronavirus Relief Fund was meant to alleviate strained state and local government budgets, but has it? Find out how effective COVID-19 funding has been thus far.

Read More
October 16, 2020
Blog Posts
This Year We Saw the Largest Budget Deficit Since 1945, Driven Largely by the Pandemic

In fiscal year 2020, the U.S. saw the largest budget deficit since 1945 at $3.1 trillion. Find out what contributed to these record-breaking stats.

Read More
October 16, 2020
Blog Posts
The Coronavirus Pandemic Continues to Cause Record Claims for Unemployment Insurance

Since March 15, more than 65 million claims for regular unemployment insurance have been filed due to COVID-19. Find weekly updated statistics here.

Read More
October 16, 2020
Blog Posts
Economic Damage from COVID-19 Will Linger as Long as the Pandemic Is Not Under Control, Experts Say

As the White House and Congressional leaders continue to discuss additional coronavirus (COVID-19) legislation, a pair of top policy experts offered insights into the state of the economy, the effectiveness of relief legislation enacted thus far and what it all means for the election and beyond.

Read More
October 15, 2020
Blog Posts
How Did Americans Spend Their Stimulus Checks and How Did It Affect the Economy?

The CARES Act granted stimulus checks to Americans to mitigate economic damage, but was it effective? Find out how stimulus checks affected the economy.

Read More
October 9, 2020
Blog Posts
The Gap Between Federal Spending and Revenues Has Grown Rapidly During the Pandemic

COVID-19 has contributed to a rising gap between federal spending and revenues. Find out just how wide that gap is.

Read More
October 8, 2020
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.

Read More
October 8, 2020
Blog Posts
What are Overseas Contingency Operations?

Military activities are funded by federal appropriations to the Department of Defense. Learn more about how military spending is used to meet national priorities in war zones.

Read More
October 7, 2020
Infographics
The National Debt Is Now More than $27 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.

Read More
October 2, 2020
Blog Posts
How are Safety Net Programs like Unemployment Insurance, SNAP, and Medicaid Helping the Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Despite the increased federal deficit, the expansion of safety net programs have led to generally effective stimulus of the economy. Learn more in our analysis of several programs including Unemployment Insurance, SNAP, and Medicaid.

Read More
October 2, 2020
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.

Read More
October 1, 2020
Blog Posts
How Much Government Spending Goes to Children?

Spending on children is shrinking as a percent of GDP.

Read More
October 1, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation, Partnership for New York City, NYC Economic Development Corporation, and Five Borough Chambers of Commerce Launch ‘NYC Small Business Resource Network’

Public-private partnership creates new resource for employers hit by the pandemic

Read More
September 30, 2020
Blog Posts
Spending on Medicaid Spiked Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused federal spending on Medicaid to rise sharply as millions of Americans seek benefits under the program.

Read More
September 30, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
As Candidates Make their Case to Voters, Rising National Debt Remains Key Concern

“While the pandemic remains the top priority, voters believe that America’s deteriorating fiscal situation is also a key issue for our future,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.

Read More
September 29, 2020
Blog Posts
How Did the Fiscal Response to the Coronavirus Help the Economy?

The first piece in our series on the effectiveness of the fiscal response to the coronavirus pandemic, will take a look at how the government’s response to the pandemic affected the nation’s economy.

Read More
September 25, 2020
Blog Posts
How Has the Coronavirus Pandemic Affected Federal Spending on SNAP?

In August, the federal government spent $9.3 billion on SNAP — which is 76 percent higher than the amount spent in March.

Read More
September 23, 2020
Blog Posts
New CBO Report: Pandemic Accelerates Existing Fiscal Challenges

Here are five key takeaways from CBO’s latest projections that show the path of federal revenues, spending, and debt through 2050.

Read More
September 22, 2020
Analysis
CBO’s Budget Outlook Shows Pandemic’s Acceleration of U.S. Fiscal Challenges

The latest budget outlook released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is the first to fully capture the budgetary impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the federal legislation enacted in response to it.

Read More
September 22, 2020
Infographics
Poll: 9 in 10 Voters say America Needs Additional Coronavirus Relief Aid

Amid ongoing negotiations in Washington since the expiration of key relief programs, 89% of voters say that America needs another coronavirus economic aid package, according to the latest Financial Times-Peterson Foundation US Economic Monitor.

Read More
September 22, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Statement on CBO Report: 30 Straight Years of Trillion-Dollar Deficits

“CBO’s report shows 30 straight years of trillion-dollar deficits that grow and grow, leaving no doubt that we’re on a dangerous and unsustainable fiscal path.” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Read More
September 21, 2020
Blog Posts
How Many Coronavirus Stimulus Checks Have Been Sent Out So Far?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had issued 159 million direct payments to Americans — totaling nearly $267 billion — to help mitigate the financial burden of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More
September 16, 2020
Blog Posts
How Were State Budgets Doing Before the Economic Slowdown? And How Might the Pandemic Change Things?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has contributed to a significant budget crunch at the state level that threatens a range of basic government programs and services. Some states were better prepared than others to handle this crisis.

Read More
September 9, 2020
Blog Posts
Federal Reserve Lending Facilities: What Are They, How Are They Funded, and How Will They Support the Economy During the Coronavirus?

The Federal Reserve’s lending facilities are one of the many policy tools the central bank is using to stabilize the economy in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Read More
September 8, 2020
Blog Posts
Five Key Takeaways from the Unemployment Data

The economic impact of the coronavirus has been profound, but it has not been felt equally by all demographic groups.

Read More
September 2, 2020
Blog Posts
National Debt Will Be the Size of the Economy by Next Year and Other Takeaways from the CBO Report

Today, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its baseline budget projections for the next decade – its first analysis to fully take into account the economic effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the legislative response to it.

Read More
September 2, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Statement on CBO Report

“This report makes it painfully clear that our unsustainable fiscal challenges have now been accelerated. The sad truth is that our national debt now equals the size of our entire economy,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Read More
September 2, 2020
Explainers
What Is the Disaster Relief Fund?

Climate and weather-related natural disasters are becoming increasingly frequent. In addition to endangering lives, they are economically costly.

Read More
September 1, 2020
Blog Posts
Breaking Down the $32 Billion of Airline Industry Payroll Support in Coronavirus Relief Legislation

As of August 27, 2020, the Treasury has disbursed almost $27 billion of the total $32 billion allocated to the program.

Read More
September 1, 2020
Blog Posts
What Is the Coronavirus Relief Fund? How Much Is Left in It?

As of August 27, 2020, the Treasury has disbursed nearly all of the total $150 billion allocated in the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Read More
September 1, 2020
Blog Posts
What has the Coronavirus Taught Us about Our Healthcare System and Preparedness?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has exposed major U.S. healthcare issues from lack of preparedness to inequities in impact and access, but key lessons can help improve the system going forward, according to two leading experts.

Read More
August 31, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
As Election Nears, Voters Understand Fiscal Outlook Is Key Issue for Nation’s Future

“In the short term, nothing is more important to our economy and our health than defeating this virus, but Americans understand that we will need to return our attention to the nation’s fiscal health once the crisis has passed,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.

Read More
August 26, 2020
Blog Posts
Eight of the Largest Tax Breaks Explained

Tax breaks totaled nearly $1.5 trillion in 2019. To put that in perspective, that’s more than the government spends on Social Security, defense, or Medicare.

Read More
August 19, 2020
Infographics
Voter Views on School Reopening, Vaccine Availability and Economic Recovery

The latest Financial Times-Peterson Foundation US Economic Monitor, released on August 18, 2020, reveals voter concerns on a range of complex policy challenges surrounding the pandemic, reopening schools and vaccine availability.

Read More
August 18, 2020
Explainers
The Highway Trust Fund Explained

Although the need for serious, long-term changes to the funding structure of the Highway Trust Fund is clear, there is disagreement over the approach to do so.

Read More
August 14, 2020
Blog Posts
Coronavirus Executive Actions Highlight Our Broken Budget Process

Over the weekend President Trump signed executive actions related to unemployment insurance, payroll tax relief, student debt, and housing evictions.

Read More
August 10, 2020
Blog Posts
IMF Releases Most Pessimistic Economic Projections for the United States to Date

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) in the United States will fall by 8 percent in 2020, according to the latest update to their World Economic Outlook report.

Read More
August 3, 2020
Blog Posts
Did the Paycheck Protection Program Work the Way It Was Supposed To?

To date, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has disbursed over $500 billion in loans to 5 million businesses, making it the largest component of the U.S.’ legislative response to the coronavirus pandemic. But has it been effective?

Read More
August 3, 2020
Blog Posts
Real GDP Falls a Record-Breaking 32.9% in Second Quarter

New economic growth statistics from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) confirm that the American economy continues to suffer historic damage during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More
July 30, 2020
Blog Posts
How Does the Federal Government Support Housing for Low-Income Households?

The federal government spent $51 billion on housing assistance in 2019, and more than 80 percent of that spending was for three programs in the Department of Housing and Urban Development that provide rental assistance to low-income households.

Read More
July 29, 2020
Explainers
Budget Basics: Medicare

Medicare is an essential health insurance program serving millions of Americans, and a major part of the federal budget and our fiscal outlook.

Read More
July 29, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
As Monthly Deficit Hits All-Time High, Voters Call Attention to Fiscal Outlook

“As lawmakers rightly continue to pursue policies that help our nation respond to the immediate health and economic crisis, voters are also showing increased concern about our deteriorating fiscal outlook,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.

Read More
July 28, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation Statement on the TRUST Act

“There’s nothing that matters more right now to our physical, fiscal and economic health than defeating this virus,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Read More
July 24, 2020
Blog Posts
Income Inequality Has Been on the Rise Since the 1980s, and Continues Its Upward Trajectory

Average income among households in the lowest fifth of the income distribution was $21,000, while income for households in the highest fifth averaged $291,000.

Read More
July 16, 2020
Explainers
Budget Basics: How Does Social Security Work?

Social Security is the largest single program in the federal budget and makes up approximately one quarter of total federal spending.

Read More
July 16, 2020
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.

Read More
July 16, 2020
Blog Posts
How Does the U.S. Healthcare System Compare to Other Countries?

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.

Read More
July 14, 2020
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.

Read More
July 14, 2020
Blog Posts
Breaking Down the Coronavirus Relief Spending — How Much Direct Aid Has Gone Out the Door So Far?

To date, policymakers have authorized an estimated $3.6 trillion in federal spending (the budgetary cost of which is only $2.4 trillion) to help counter the economic effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Read More
July 13, 2020
Explainers
Payroll Taxes: What Are They and What Do They Fund?

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.

Read More
July 10, 2020
Blog Posts
Legislation to Fight Coronavirus Pandemic Has Reduced Federal Revenues by $500 Billion

Overall, coronavirus relief legislation is expected to widen the gap between federal outlays and revenues — increasing federal deficits by $2.4 trillion over the next decade.

Read More
July 8, 2020
Blog Posts
See How the Coronavirus Has Impacted 10-Year Projections for GDP and More

It’s going to take at least a decade for the labor market to recover from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the latest data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Read More
July 7, 2020
Infographics
Poll: 82% of Americans Want Federal Relief Extended, Most See Tougher Economic Road Ahead

The latest Financial Times-Peterson Foundation US Economic Monitor, released on July 7, 2020, reveals timely data about Americans’ deep concerns about the health and economic effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Read More
July 7, 2020
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.

Read More
July 6, 2020
Blog Posts
Pandemic Budget Crunch Could Force States to Slash Social Services, Education, Police Budgets, and More

Without federal intervention, many services could be drastically reduced to meet balanced budget requirements.

Read More
July 1, 2020
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.

Read More
July 1, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
Fiscal Confidence Drops to Lowest Since 2014 as Nation Continues to Confront Significant Health, Economic Impact of Coronavirus

“America’s top policy priority right now is defeating this virus and helping the millions of Americans who are suffering economically, but as we look ahead it’s clear that Americans are growing more concerned about how we will deal with our national debt once this crisis ends.” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.

Read More
June 30, 2020
Explainers
Budget Basics: Federal Trust Funds

Federal trust funds bear little resemblance to their private-sector counterparts.

Read More
June 25, 2020
Blog Posts
State and Local Infrastructure Spending: A Closer Look

Properly addressing the nation’s aging infrastructure requires action not only at the federal level, but also at the state and local levels, where most infrastructure spending is carried out.

Read More
June 17, 2020
Explainers
Budget Basics: Who Pays Taxes?

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.

Read More
June 16, 2020
Explainers
What Are Estate and Gift Taxes and How Do They Work?

Estate and gift taxes are levied on the transfer of assets. Two areas of the tax code that are relatively small in dollar terms, but can generate a significant amount of attention and even controversy in the broader conversation about wealth.

Read More
June 12, 2020
Blog Posts
CBO Director: Economy Rebounding but the Fiscal Situation Leaves the U.S. Vulnerable

America’s economic rebound from the coronavirus pandemic seems to have begun, depending on location, according to Phillip Swagel, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Read More
June 9, 2020
Blog Posts
May Unemployment Data Show a Slight Improvement in the Labor Market

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the labor market experienced an unexpected improvement in May.

Read More
June 8, 2020
Blog Posts
How Much Is the National Debt? What are the Different Measures Used?

There are three widely used measures of federal debt. What are the important differences between these measurements?

Read More
June 5, 2020
Infographics
Poll: Over 1 in 5 Americans Report Being Laid Off or Furloughed Since Coronavirus

The latest Financial Times-Peterson Foundation US Economic Monitor, released on June 4, 2020, reveals how the coronavirus pandemic continues to have significant financial and economic impacts across wide swaths of American society.

Read More
June 4, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
2020 Up to Us Winner: Mesa Community College

Mesa Community College designs winning campaign to engage Millennial and Gen Z students on the rising $25 trillion national debt.

Read More
May 28, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
As Coronavirus Pandemic Continues, Voters Remain Mindful of National Debt

“As this crisis continues, lawmakers are taking necessary action to confront the pandemic and help our nation recover. At the same time, voters are very concerned about our nation’s fiscal and economic future,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.

Read More
May 27, 2020
Blog Posts
What Support Are Small Businesses Receiving During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

So far, federal measures to support small businesses have amounted to $760 billion.

Read More
May 22, 2020
Blog Posts
How Has the Coronavirus Affected the U.S. Economic Outlook

Before the pandemic, the U.S. economy was in its longest expansion since World War II and had notably low unemployment. The pandemic and the resulting reductions in social and economic activity, however, have altered that trajectory.

Read More
May 22, 2020
Blog Posts
How Does the U.S. Economic Response to Coronavirus Compare to the Rest of the World?

COVID-19 has spread to nearly every country in the world, and to help reduce the health risk and save lives, many countries have imposed limitations on business activity, congregating, and traveling.

Read More
May 21, 2020
Blog Posts
The United States Spends More on Defense than the Next 10 Countries Combined

U.S. defense spending increased substantially from 2018 to 2019 relative to other countries.

Read More
May 15, 2020
Blog Posts
The Coronavirus Caused the Deficit to Balloon in April — Usually a Surplus Month

A large decrease in revenues and a large increase in spending have led the Congressional Budget Office to estimate a deficit of $737 billion in April 2020.

Read More
May 11, 2020
Blog Posts
April Unemployment Data Show Devastating Effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the Labor Market

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, elected leaders have asked the American people to stay at home and have forced businesses to close to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Read More
May 8, 2020
Infographics
Nearly 7 in 10 Americans Say Their Incomes Have Taken a Hit from the Pandemic

The latest Financial Times-Peterson Foundation US Economic Monitor reveals that the coronavirus pandemic is financially impacting the vast majority of Americans, and there is broad-based support for federal response measures.

Read More
May 7, 2020
Blog Posts
First Economic Growth Report Under the Coronavirus: Real GDP Falls 4.8% in First Quarter

The decrease in GDP in the first quarter was driven by a decline in consumption and investment.

Read More
April 29, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
As America Grapples with Coronavirus Pandemic, Voters See Growing Debt as Key Challenge for the Future

“While the most important national priority right now is addressing the significant health and economic impact caused by coronavirus, we all also understand that this crisis has enormous costs and impact on our fiscal position,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.

Read More
April 28, 2020
Blog Posts
U.S. GDP to Fall 5.6% Due to Coronavirus, According to New CBO Projections

The new numbers demonstrate the severe economic damage and significant fiscal implications of this unprecedented crisis.

Read More
April 24, 2020
Blog Posts
Here’s Everything Congress Has Done To Respond To The Coronavirus So Far

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has caused a severe public health crisis as well as substantial economic disruption for every American.

Read More
April 24, 2020
Blog Posts
Social Security and Medicare Faced Serious Shortfalls Even Before the Coronavirus

Social Security and Medicare are facing serious financial difficulty in the near future.

Read More
April 24, 2020
Infographics
What's in the CARES Act? Here's a Summary

The largest emergency response bill in history, the CARES Act allocates $2 trillion in emergency funding to provide relief to households, small and large businesses, states and municipalities, and healthcare providers, among others.

Read More
April 22, 2020
Blog Posts
Four Key Takeaways From the Early Unemployment Data

The official unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in March 2020, up from 3.5 percent in February. That increase was the largest of any month since January 1975.

Read More
April 21, 2020
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.

Read More
April 20, 2020
Blog Posts
How Does the Treasury Issue Debt?

As the United States borrows a significant amount of money to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s take a closer look at a few key characteristics of Treasury borrowing that can affect its budgetary cost.

Read More
April 10, 2020
Blog Posts
Six Charts That Show How Low Corporate Tax Revenues Are in the United States Right Now

Compared to historical trends and other advanced economies, corporate tax revenues in the United States are at very low levels.

Read More
April 1, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
As America Focuses on Healthcare Crisis and Economy, Growing Debt Remains a Concern

“America is going through an unprecedented national emergency, and we need to respond aggressively to address both the public health crisis and the economic risk,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.

Read More
March 31, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation Statement on Fiscal Response to the Coronavirus

“The coronavirus outbreak is an unprecedented national emergency, and we need to respond aggressively to address both the public health crisis and the economic risk,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Read More
March 23, 2020
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.

Read More
March 20, 2020
Blog Posts
What is SNAP? An Overview of the Largest Federal Anti-Hunger Program

SNAP is the largest federal program aimed at combating hunger and food insecurity among low-income Americans.

Read More
March 19, 2020
Blog Posts
Five Approaches to Taxing Wealth in the United States

A number of current and former candidates have suggested adding new sources of revenue through various types of taxation of wealth.

Read More
March 11, 2020
Explainers
What Is the Earned Income Tax Credit?

The earned income tax credit (EITC) is a measure administered through the tax code to address poverty. It was first enacted in 1975 on a temporary basis amid broader debates about welfare reform and had the primary goal of encouraging people to obtain employment.

Read More
March 11, 2020
Explainers
What Is the Child Tax Credit?

The child tax credit (CTC) is a measure administered though the tax code that is designed to make raising children more affordable by easing the financial burden faced by families.

Read More
March 11, 2020
Explainers
What is PAYGO?

PAYGO is a budget enforcement mechanism intended to prevent passage of legislation that increases deficits.

Read More
March 9, 2020
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.

Read More
March 5, 2020
Blog Posts
What is a Wealth Tax, and Should the United States Have One?

A wealth tax would impose a levy on assets owned by an individual or household — as opposed to, for example, an income tax.

Read More
March 3, 2020
Blog Posts
Four Simple Scenarios That Show How Marginal Rates and Tax Breaks Affect What People Actually Pay

As the 2020 campaign season swings into gear, the national debate about taxes — including tax rates, tax types, and tax fairness — is gaining prominence.

Read More
March 3, 2020
Blog Posts
Millions Gained Healthcare Coverage under Obamacare, But That Trend Is Reversing

The proportion of the population who are uninsured began increasing in 2017.

Read More
February 28, 2020
Blog Posts
How Does the Capital Gains Tax Work Now, and What Are Some Proposed Reforms?

The capital gains tax is a highly debated topic, as most presidential candidates have weighed in on how to revise it. Simply put, the capital gains tax is a levy on the profit received from the sale of a capital asset.

Read More
February 28, 2020
Infographics
Voters Agree: The National Debt is a Bipartisan Priority for 2020 Election

A broad, bipartisan majority of voters agree that the national debt is a key issue for the 2020 campaign.

Read More
February 28, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
With 2020 Election Underway, Voters Want More Progress on the National Debt

“Voters believe that managing our national debt is a top priority that should play a central role in this year’s election discussion,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.

Read More
February 25, 2020
Blog Posts
Do Voters Care about the National Debt? The Polls Say They Do

Heading into 2020, the vast majority of Americans are urging leaders in Washington to address the unsustainable national debt and budget deficit.

Read More
February 20, 2020
Analysis
President's Budget Again Relies on Optimistic Economic Projections and Unlikely Spending Cuts

Following the pattern of previous years, this budget largely relies on very optimistic projections of economic growth and unlikely budget cuts to reduce the deficit.

Read More
February 14, 2020
Explainers
Budget Basics: The National Flood Insurance Program

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is run by the federal government to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures.

Read More
February 12, 2020
Blog Posts
Fed Chair Powell Encourages Congress to Address Rising Debt before Next Downturn

Powell noted that the current economic expansion is the longest on record and emphasized the need to consider the long-term implications of fiscal policy.

Read More
February 11, 2020
Blog Posts
The President's Budget Proposes Large Spending Cuts, but Leaves Debt at High Levels

Today, President Trump released his fourth budget, which outlines the administration’s policy proposals, budget projections, and economic forecast for the next decade.

Read More
February 10, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation Statement on President’s Budget Proposal

“Today’s budget proposal relies on optimistic projections for economic growth and unlikely budget cuts to illustrate deficit reduction,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Read More
February 10, 2020
Blog Posts
Economists Agree: The National Debt is a Long-Term Concern for America

Although a range of views exists about optimal near-term fiscal policy, economists agree that America’s mounting debt presents significant challenges for our budget and the economy, particularly over the long term.

Read More
February 7, 2020
Analysis
CBO Report Highlights America’s Unsustainable — and Deteriorating — Fiscal Outlook

The latest report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reiterates that the federal budget is on an unsustainable trajectory.

Read More
February 6, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation Statement Ahead of President’s State of the Union Address

“By any measure, the state of the Union’s fiscal outlook is unsustainable, and getting worse,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Read More
February 4, 2020
Blog Posts
Economic Growth Was Weaker in 2019 than in 2018

Growth in 2019 was lower than the 2.9 percent growth in 2018. Key factors contributing to this drop include a significant slowing in the growth of nonresidential investment and, to a slightly lesser degree, slower growth in the consumption of goods and services.

Read More
January 31, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
As America Enters Era of Trillion-Dollar Deficits, Voters Want Action on the Debt

“As the 2020 election begins, Americans are looking for leadership and solutions to our growing debt problem,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.

Read More
January 31, 2020
Blog Posts
A Look at the Foreign-Born Labor Force in the United States

Understanding the United States’ changing labor force can be a key part of understanding larger trends in the overall economy. Here are key characteristics of the foreign-born population and how they compare to the native-born population.

Read More
January 30, 2020
Blog Posts
Five Troubling Takeaways from the Latest CBO Report

As voting begins for the 2020 election season, the majority of Americans believe that addressing the national debt is a crucial issue that warrants action from policymakers.

Read More
January 28, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Statement on CBO Report: Ten Straight Years of Trillion-Dollar Deficits

“Today’s CBO report shows ten straight years of trillion-dollar deficits. That’s a sad reflection of our nation’s poor fiscal health, and it adds insult to injury that we’re piling on all this debt in a growing economy,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Read More
January 28, 2020
Blog Posts
Decade in Review: Looking Back at CBO Projections Then and Now

As one decade ends and another begins, there’s no question that our fiscal outlook is daunting. But as we mark this milestone, it’s also helpful to take a closer look at projections from 10 years ago to assess how decisions by lawmakers and other factors have contributed to our fiscal outlook.

Read More
January 7, 2020
Press Releases & Statements
Voters Concerned about Fiscal Irresponsibility in Washington as Lawmakers Add Red Ink

“As another unfortunate year of fiscal irresponsibility comes to a close, voters are sending a clear message to Washington that they want fiscal leadership,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.

Read More
January 7, 2020
Subscribe to

Understanding the Coronavirus Crisis

Key fiscal and economic indicators as the nation responds and recovers.

National Debt Clock

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