May 19, 2017
The following is a statement from the Campaign to Fix the Debt Co-Chairs Judd Gregg and Edward Rendell:
President Trump warned against the dangers of the national debt during the campaign, and in a budget outline released in March, his Administration called it a crisis for every citizen.
We agree and encourage the President in his first full budget next week to match his past words and put forth a plan to curb the unsustainable, historic, and rapidly rising national debt.
The President entered office facing the highest national debt as a share of the economy since World War II. But unlike then, the debt is not headed down—it is projected to grow faster than the economy indefinitely. Trillion-dollar annual deficits will return by 2023, and the total debt will eclipse the size of the entire economy by 2033.
When President Trump took office, it was projected the debt would grow by two-thirds over the next ten years. We can do and must do better.
Our nation needs a plan to correct this course, and we urge President Trump to pursue a legacy of fixing the national bottom line once-and-for-all, not one that adds so much to the debt that it dogs the economy for a generation.
The President is right to focus on job creation and tax reform. But he should not rely on unrealistic and rosy economic growth projections to pay for his proposals or fix our debt. It is not a good idea to spend as if you won the lottery in hopes that you actually do.
The budget should put the debt on a downward path so that it is not growing faster than the economy, and it should have concrete solutions to address the core drivers of the debt.
We cannot fix the problem by looking at only the discretionary side of the budget, a smaller slice of the pie that accounts for only 31 percent of federal spending. Social Security and Medicare make up 39 percent of the budget and will account for 51 percent of spending growth over the next ten years.
The good news is that it is not too late. With the right mix of policies to slow the rise in debt and grow the economy, we can set course for a brighter future.
Our partners at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget released a paper on what they hope to see in the President’s budget, which you can read here.
For more information, contact Patrick Newton at firstname.lastname@example.org.