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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
Public Investment in Our Future Has Fallen Sharply over the Past 50 Years

The United States currently faces a range of complex challenges including deteriorating infrastructure, a changing climate, and an inadequate system of education.

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October 10, 2019
Blog Posts
Income and Wealth in the United States: An Overview of Recent Data

Income levels for Americans vary across geography, race, and gender.

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October 4, 2019
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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October 4, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation Launches National Debt Clocks in Cities Across America

Continuously updated billboards put a spotlight on $22 trillion national debt as part of 2020 campaign conversation.

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September 30, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
While Deficits Rise and Lawmakers Delay Action, Americans Call for Renewed Focus on Nation’s Fiscal Health

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.

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September 24, 2019
Blog Posts
What Does the Fed Rate Cut Mean for the Economy and National Debt?

Today, the Federal Reserve announced a decrease in the federal funds rate — the interest rate at which commercial banks lend to each other overnight .

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September 18, 2019
Blog Posts
How Much Government Spending Goes to Children?

Spending on children is shrinking as a percent of GDP.

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September 18, 2019
Blog Posts
What is an Alternative Fiscal Scenario?

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.

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September 18, 2019
Explainers
How Do We Measure Poverty? Is There a Better Way to Do It?

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.

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September 16, 2019
Blog Posts
Welcome Back, Congress — Congress Faces Key Fiscal Deadline when Returning from Recess

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

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September 6, 2019
Analysis
CBO: Recent Budget Deal Will Add $1.7 Trillion to the National Debt over the Next 10 Years

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.

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September 6, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Amid Worsening Deficit Outlook, Americans Increasingly Concerned About Nation’s Future

“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.

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August 27, 2019
Blog Posts
Three Key Ingredients for Negotiating a Fiscally Responsible Budget Deal

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.

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August 26, 2019
Explainers
Budget Basics: National Defense

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.

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August 23, 2019
Blog Posts
Deficits Much Larger Than Projected Just Three Months Ago — and Other Key Takeaways from the CBO Report

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.

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August 21, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson: New CBO Report Shows Fiscal Damage from Budget Deal

“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.

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August 21, 2019
Blog Posts
What Is Fiscal Policy? Interactive Teaching Tools

Many Americans, young and old, may be confused by the complex set of issues that comprise how the government raises revenues and allocates them.

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August 21, 2019
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.

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August 19, 2019
Blog Posts
What are the Trends Slowing Wage Growth and Fueling Income Inequality?

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.

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July 30, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
As Leaders in Washington Add to the National Debt, Voter Concern about America’s Fiscal Health Rises

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.

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July 30, 2019
Blog Posts
Economic Growth Slowed Significantly in Second Quarter — and Is Projected to be Lower This Year Than Last

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.

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July 29, 2019
Analysis
Top 10 Reasons Why the National Debt Matters

At $22 trillion and rising, the national debt threatens America’s economic future. Here are the top ten reasons why the national debt matters.

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July 29, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation: Budget ‘Compromise’ Ignores Next Generation

“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.

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July 25, 2019
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.

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July 22, 2019
Blog Posts
Fast-Approaching Fiscal Deadlines Pose Threat to American Economy

Americans and the economy are vulnerable to a series of high-stakes fiscal deadlines, with an uncertain path forward.

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July 19, 2019
Blog Posts
What Are Budget Caps and Why Are They Important Now?

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.

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July 18, 2019
Blog Posts
Why The 2019 Long-Term Budget Outlook is More Bad News

This year’s report demonstrates why lawmakers should focus their attention toward improving our nation’s debt path as soon as possible.

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July 17, 2019
Blog Posts
What is the Primary Deficit?

The primary deficit excludes interest payments, thereby measuring the gap between all other spending and total revenues collected.

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July 16, 2019
Blog Posts
Deficit to Rise Nearly 30% over Last Year, According to New White House Projections

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.

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July 15, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation Statement on OMB Mid-Session Review

“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.

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July 15, 2019
Blog Posts
Debt vs. Deficits: What's the Difference?

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.

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July 3, 2019
Blog Posts
Debt is Growing Faster in the United States Than Anywhere Else in the World

The United States leads the world in an unfortunate category: the pace of growth in its debt.

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July 1, 2019
Analysis
CBO Warns: Historic Debt Levels Pose Substantial Risks

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.

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June 28, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Voters Want Renewed Focus on the National Debt As Lawmakers Consider Costly New Tax and Spending Proposals

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.

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June 26, 2019
Blog Posts
Five Key Takeaways from the CBO Long-Term Outlook

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its 2019 Long-Term Budget Outlook, highlighting the significant fiscal challenges facing our nation.

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June 25, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson: New CBO Report a Reality Check for Lawmakers

“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

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June 25, 2019
Explainers
What Are Discretionary Spending Caps?

There is one cap for national defense and another cap for non-defense programs.

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June 21, 2019
Explainers
Budget Basics: Tax Expenditures

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

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June 14, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Seven Leading Think Tanks Put Forward Plans to Significantly Reduce Nation’s Debt

Peterson Foundation’s ‘Solutions Initiative’ Produces Policy Options to Build Stronger Fiscal Future for America.

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June 12, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
2019 Up to Us Winner: Michigan's Oakland University

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

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June 11, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
2019 Fiscal Summit Press Release

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

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June 11, 2019
Infographics
The National Debt Affects Our Ability to Address Key Priorities

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.

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June 11, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Bipartisan Majorities of Americans Call on Leaders to Focus on Nation’s Fiscal Outlook

“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.

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May 29, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation Statement on the Passing of Alice Rivlin

“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

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May 14, 2019
Blog Posts
CBO: Trump Budget Uses Overly Optimistic Economic Assumptions

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.

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May 10, 2019
Explainers
What Are Federal Trust Funds?

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

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May 7, 2019
Blog Posts
Higher National Debt Means Higher Interest Rates for the Federal Government

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.

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May 6, 2019
Blog Posts
CBO’s Updated Projections Show Deficits Continuing to Climb, Despite Growing Economy

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).

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May 2, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation: New CBO Report Shows Unsustainable Path Forward

“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

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May 2, 2019
Blog Posts
Healthcare Costs for Americans Projected to Grow at an Alarmingly High Rate

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.

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May 1, 2019
Analysis
Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports

Every year the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees issue reports on the fiscal health of these vital programs.

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May 1, 2019
Analysis
Trustees Warn: Social Security’s Total Costs Next Year to Exceed Income for First Time Since 1982

The report anticipates that in 2020 — for the first time since 1982 — the program’s total costs will exceed its total income.

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April 30, 2019
Analysis
Trustees: Funding Challenges Threaten Medicare’s Future

Medicare faces significant financial challenges in future years because of rising healthcare spending and an aging population.

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April 30, 2019
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.

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April 30, 2019
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.

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April 30, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
In Growing Economy, Voters See Critical Opportunity to Regain Control of the Budget, Future

“The economy is growing, but so is the federal deficit, and that’s highly unusual.” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation.

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April 30, 2019
Blog Posts
Economic Growth in Early 2019 Was Stronger than Expected

Growth over the next few years is expected to slow as the recent fiscal stimulus wanes.

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April 29, 2019
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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April 23, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation on Social Security, Medicare Trustees Reports: Doing Nothing Today Means Cuts Tomorrow

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.

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April 22, 2019
Blog Posts
GAO Warns National Debt Could Be Twice the Size of the Economy in Just 30 Years

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.

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April 19, 2019
Blog Posts
Six of the Largest Tax Breaks Explained

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.

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April 15, 2019
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.

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April 12, 2019
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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March 29, 2019
Analysis
President's Budget Relies on Optimistic Economic Projections and Unlikely Spending Cuts

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.

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March 27, 2019
Blog Posts
Why Fiscal Space Matters

Lower levels of debt allow governments to respond more effectively to a recession or financial crisis.

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March 27, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Voters Across Party Lines Hold Serious Concerns About Nation’s Fiscal Condition as U.S. Debt Continues To Rise

“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.

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March 26, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson on February Deficit: The Definition of Unsustainable

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.

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March 22, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
US 2050 Conference Explores Trends that Will Shape America’s Future

Unique Research Project from Peterson Foundation and Ford Foundation Convenes Authors of 31 New Papers Exploring America’s Most Significant Long-Term Challenges

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March 22, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Media Advisory: US 2050 Conference

Leading experts, scholars will discuss 31 new research papers on trends that will shape America’s future economy and society.

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March 18, 2019
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 U.S.

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March 15, 2019
Blog Posts
The President's Budget Reduces Debt a Little, But Only If Growth Is Rosier than Projected

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.

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March 11, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation Statement on President’s Budget

“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.

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March 11, 2019
Infographics
Infographic: What Is the Debt Limit?

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.

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March 4, 2019
Analysis
Debt Ceiling Update: What’s at Stake

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.

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February 28, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
As National Debt Reaches $22 Trillion, Voters Are Deeply Concerned about America’s Fiscal Outlook

“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.

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February 26, 2019
Blog Posts
State Budgets Also Face Tough Fiscal Challenges

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.

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February 19, 2019
Blog Posts
Three Reasons Why a Government Shutdown Is Harmful

It may be counterintuitive, but government shutdowns are expensive. They are also bad for the economy.

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February 14, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation Statement on National Debt Reaching $22 Trillion

“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.

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February 12, 2019
Infographics
The National Debt Is Now More than $22 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 12, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson: State of the Union Address Must Acknowledge Dangerous Fiscal Outlook

“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.

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February 5, 2019
Analysis
CBO Report Highlights Unsustainable Fiscal Outlook

The federal budget is on an unsustainable and damaging fiscal trajectory, according to a new report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

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February 1, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Record Drop in Americans’ Fiscal Confidence Amid Shutdown Battle and Partisan Gridlock

“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.

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January 29, 2019
Blog Posts
Five Charts that Summarize CBO’s Budget and Economic Outlook

Despite a growing economy and low unemployment, federal budget deficits are projected to grow over the next 10 years.

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January 28, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation: CBO Confirms Dangerous Fiscal Path

“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.

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January 28, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation Statement on Temporary End to Shutdown

“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.

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January 25, 2019
Infographics
Infographic: Long-Term Debt and Its Drivers

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.

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January 23, 2019
Blog Posts
Here Are Some Ways the Shutdown Is Hurting Americans and the Economy

Since the shutdown began, about 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed or are working without pay.

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January 11, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Peterson Foundation Statement on House Rules Package and Return to PAYGO

“This new rules package includes important reforms that can help encourage fiscal responsibility." Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, said.

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January 4, 2019
Blog Posts
The House is returning to PAYGO

Budget process rules like PAYGO help ensure that fiscal considerations are an important part of policymaking.

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January 4, 2019
Press Releases & Statements
Vast Majority of Americans Urge President and New Congress to Make Nation’s Fiscal Challenges a Top Priority

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.

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January 3, 2019
Blog Posts
Can a New Congress — and a Divided Government — Make Progress on Fiscal Challenges?

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.

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January 2, 2019
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FISCAL ISSUES ILLUSTRATED

This series of infographics helps put some of today's most pressing fiscal debates in context.