Education and
Awareness

A key part of building momentum to address our fiscal and economic challenges is educating Americans, raising awareness and inspiring action. The Peterson Foundation works to engage experts, elected officials and citizens alike, building consensus and the will to advance policy reforms that support a vibrant economic future.

Our education and engagement initiatives raise awareness and understanding of the national debt, demonstrate broad public support for fiscal sustainability, provide critical background and context to policymakers and voters, and inspire young people to take action to build a vibrant economic future.


Convening Thought Leaders

For fiscal solutions to be durable, they need to include ideas, input and support from across the ideological spectrum and from a variety of sources. Solving America’s fiscal challenge in an enduring way means coming together.

This value of inclusion and collaboration is reflected in all of the Foundation’s work, and particularly in our role as a convener of people and ideas. We bring together influencers and policymakers from across the ideological spectrum to find common cause and develop commonsense reforms.

From our signature annual conference, the Fiscal Summit in Washington, D.C., to timely events around the country at key political and policy moments, our goal is to give voice to constructive, substantive and policy-focused discussions on what’s needed to restore America’s future.


Taking the Pulse

The Fiscal Confidence Index is a national survey that measures public attitudes about our fiscal and economic condition — and the progress that elected leaders are making to do something about it. Released by the Peterson Foundation every month since December 2012, the Index has consistently shown that significant majorities of American voters across party lines hold deep concerns about our national debt and want policymakers to make our fiscal and economic future a top priority.


Reaching the Next Generation

Launched in 2012, Up to Us is a rapidly growing, non-partisan movement of young people dedicated to addressing our fiscal challenges and preserving economic opportunity for the future. At colleges and universities across the country, students in the program participate in a competition to educate and engage their peers on the risks presented by America’s unsustainable national debt and the ways to fix it. These young activists recognize that when it comes to securing their future opportunities, they have no better advocates than themselves. A partnership of the Peterson Foundation, Net Impact and the Clinton Global Initiative University, Up to Us has grown from a pilot program on 10 college campuses to a national initiative that has reached more than 225,000 students on over 400 campuses in all 50 states.

The PGPF Fiscal Internship program offers full-time paid internships to a select group of college and graduate school students interested in fiscal policy. Interns live and work in Washington D.C. for ten weeks during the summer, while gaining professional experience, skills, and contacts that will serve them throughout their careers. Past participating organizations have included:


American Action Forum Bipartisan Policy Center Brookings Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget Economic Policy Institute Ethics and Public Policy Center Kaiser Family Foundation National Governors Association Tax Policy Center

Connecting with Americans

Since 2008, the Peterson Foundation has launched national advertising campaigns at key moments in the policy debate to remind voters and lawmakers of what’s at stake. These campaigns have included television, print, radio and digital advertising centered on timely issues like fiscally responsible tax reform and the economic gains that are possible if we address our debt.

The Peterson Foundation engages with a lively community through its various social media platforms, including:

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.