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‘First Budget’ Report Finds Candidates Fall Short on Plans To Deal With The Federal Debt

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new assessment of 2016 presidential candidates by First Budget, a joint initiative of the Campaign to Fix the Debt and The Concord Coalition, finds that while all candidates in both parties say the rapidly growing national debt is a problem, most of their proposals to address it fall far short.

The report, “The National Debt & the 2016 Election: Early Returns from Iowa and New Hampshire,” says every Republican and Democratic candidate has acknowledged the seriousness of the problem. Yet none have presented credible, comprehensive plans to address it.

“Voters should closely scrutinize what the presidential candidates say about our worsening budget outlook because unsustainable debt cannot be cured with unsustainable campaign promises,” said Robert L. Bixby, Concord’s executive director. “The budget proposals put out so far have many gaps to be filled and the candidates should turn their attention to that in the coming weeks.”

Voters should closely scrutinize what the presidential candidates say about our worsening budget outlook because unsustainable debt cannot be cured with unsustainable campaign promises.

Maya MacGuineas, head of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, said: “Candidates for the nation’s highest office have an obligation to voters to explain how they would get our country out of the massive fiscal pit it has fallen into. Today’s report paints a picture of candidates who on the one hand are willing to level with voters about the importance of responsible fiscal policies, but on the other, are not willing to put forth full budget proposals to get us there.”

Some candidates have indicated that they are serious about addressing some of the key drivers of the debt. On the Republican side, several have put forward detailed plans to address Social Security and federal health care spending, core drivers of projected spending growth. Yet many GOP candidates have proposed large tax cut plans that outweigh the specific spending cuts they have proposed and so would dramatically worsen the fiscal situation.

On the Democratic side, some candidates have presented concrete proposals to pay for their proposed expansions of major federal programs, but they have not put forward additional plans to address the debt. It is not enough to simply pay for new spending commitments when the budget is already on an unsustainable path because of the accumulating debt.

The First Budget initiative was launched over a year ago to raise public awareness of the dangers posed by the national debt and to make solving it a top priority for the next president.

First Budget’s assessments in the new report are based on research into candidate positions and statements, as well as hundreds of interactions with presidential candidates on the campaign trail. Eight candidates addressed fiscal issues on First Budget’s TV interview series Fiscal Fridays in New Hampshire and Your First Budget in Iowa.

First Budget, the Campaign to Fix the Debt and The Concord Coalition are bipartisan and do not support or oppose any candidates. The report’s findings are intended to inform voters about candidates’ positions on fiscal issues.

The report can be found here.

The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to fiscal responsibility. Since 1992, Concord has worked to educate the public about the causes and consequences of the federal deficit and debt, and to develop realistic solutions for sustainable budgets. For more fiscal news and analysis, visit concordcoalition.org and follow us on Twitter: @ConcordC

 

SOURCE The Concord Coalition

Editor’s note: The information provided on this page is from an independent, third-party content provider. If you have any questions or comments about this page please contact [email protected].

Photo Credit: irisphoto1 / shutterstock.com

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527 comments
William Bliss
William Bliss

Kevin Landis All modern economists (Keynesian) agree that a country MUST invest its way out of a recession. IOW, get people back to work. FDR did the same thing in the 1930's. Those other countries, currently experimenting with austerity measures, are now still floundering. As proof that Obama's investments in our country are working is the fact that for the last 3 years the deficit, as a % of GDP, has declined by a third. The important point here is there are many situations when a country SHOULD go into debt. For example: > Ramping up for war. > Recession recovery. > When retooling its manufacturing base is necessary. > When investing in profitable infrastructure (Interstates). > When interest rates are lower than GDP growth. What the Koch brothers are not telling people is that the economy is not a zero-sum-game, that infrastructure and social investments can and usually DO pay for themselves from the increased economic activity and resulting revenue.

C.j. Moran
C.j. Moran

TRUMP VOTERS WILL CHANGE THE ESTABLISHMENT STRONGHOLD IN IOWA TONIGHT!!!!......AND THE NATION SOON.

Gloria Filerino
Gloria Filerino

In a divided country it's almost impossible And the rich have nothing to,worry about Vote dem and give the real working man a living wage

Dennis Ray
Dennis Ray

I have to imagine that the greatest part of our debt comes from our wars. What makes America great are the same things that the Republicans and conservatives want to get rid of. They want to get rid of our parks. They want to get rid of our public schools. They want to get rid of our libraries. They want to get rid of our public television. They want to get rid of free Internet. They want to get rid of the post office. They want to get rid of all safety nets if we were to get hurt or injured. They want to have it so only the rich can afford health insurance. If it were up to those holier than thou conservatives we would be living in a place worse than Communist Russia.

Warren Donaldson
Warren Donaldson

Michael Davidson what's ridiculous is anyone not paying their share! Those peoples votes are being purchased! Just absolutely ridiculous!

Warren Donaldson
Warren Donaldson

Lori Connor I know the difference. And I know man cannot control,change or impact either. Again... we have real issues! BS mythology isn't one of them!

Warren Donaldson
Warren Donaldson

Michael Davidson no sir...10% is the exact fair amount for a rich or poor person.

Jackie Tschantz
Jackie Tschantz

Govt has no business in my healthcare. Or anything else for that matter. You clearly dont understand the path of socialism. ...i don't want it. Id rather have freedom to govern myself accordingly. If i make that much doesn't matter. ...i should be able to make as much as i can without being punished or expected to spread my hard earned income to those who arent as motivated or self reliant. You want healthcare.....go get healthcare....pay for it like the rest of us have for decades. Stop taking my money. I worked for this.. .. not you. Oh then theres that pesky lesson from history. You know the one....when the govt conttols education and healthcare they control the people and freedom is gone........if you want to live in a socialist world, go to canada, france, the UK. ill take freedom......

Timothy Curtin
Timothy Curtin

David Richmond Who do we owe this debt to? Let's just default on it and see what happens.

Lori Connor
Lori Connor

The "debt" will never be "fixed" because it is profitable to the 1%. AND they can use it to divide rubes like us!

Eldred Fuchs
Eldred Fuchs

How many commenters have a mortgage a credit card, or an auto loan? National debt is a worse "problem" how?

Lori Connor
Lori Connor

Warren Donaldson, you don't understand the difference between climate and weather?

Prince Duncan
Prince Duncan

“Candidates for the nation’s highest office have an obligation to voters to explain how they would get our country out of the massive fiscal pit it has fallen into." America didn`t fall into that pit, the liberal and conservative cults PUT us there, and I believe it was on purpose!

Kevin Landis
Kevin Landis

The national debt is a farce. We don't owe a dime to anybody. It is just their way to rape other accounts like social security and medicare. Not to mention raising taxes on everything you have. If you think any of them have you or your kids best interest at heart you better wake the f up. Liars, cheats, and thieves every single one of them. And you are their slaves.

Kevin Landis
Kevin Landis

Over half of the debt was created under Obama since he has been in office. How has he repaired it?

Michael Davidson
Michael Davidson

Warren Donaldson Ridiculous/ 10% to someone making $17,000 is more painful than 10% of someone making $100.000,000

Shamus McDonogh
Shamus McDonogh

Restore Glass/Steagle. Back the dollar with a gold standard. Abolish the federal reserve and irs. End foreign aid.

Kevin Landis
Kevin Landis

Only because nobody can find the reset button and they are not smart enough to unplug it and wait 30 seconds and then plug it back in.

Gary White
Gary White

Donald Trump has a solution -- Stop the influx of Muslims and Syrians -- Put Americans back to work in the jobs taken up by foreigners -- stop the give away programs -- stop foreigners from getting Social Security that has never paid any in -- stop supporting these other Countries that claims to be our friends but aren't -- stop the free food and free medical programs that are awarded illegals when they enter this country -- rescind the $ 150 BILLION DOLLAR payment to IRAN for their part of the WORTHLESS NUCLEAR ARMS AGREEMENT WHICH WAS STOLEN FROM SOCIAL SECURITY BY CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT

Kathleen Beckering
Kathleen Beckering

Bernie Sanders is the only experienced candidate who isn't in the pocket of the corporations/wealthy 1% who control the large majority of corrupt politicians. Our top economists agree that his tax plans will save us trillions of dollars all while expanding social security, Medicare, vet benefits and our infrastructure. He wants to demolish things like citizens United and for profit prisons while also breaking up the big banks and reigning in Wall street. Oh and he also wants to legalize pot. Cheers!

Kathleen Beckering
Kathleen Beckering

And on the bright side, his single payer health plan is estimated to save the average family of 4 over $5807.00 a years. That's after paying for the tax.

Kathleen Beckering
Kathleen Beckering

Bernie Sanders very specific tax plan only raises taxes on anyone making more than $250k a year. I would hope that if your making that much and have to pay a small increase it wouldn't bankrupt your family.

Mike Winings
Mike Winings

No one no where is above the law ! We the people put them there and expect them to do what is right by the people! We need to get our country back before its gone!

Russ Pagen
Russ Pagen

Ask the Liar in Chief what he's doing to reduce spending. Taking more vacations? Reducing his campaign flights on AF-1? Or reducing the size of government? Ask Killery, she thinks Obama's agenda is hers.

Mike Mangrum
Mike Mangrum

Because they don't know how bad of a mess Obama has really got us in

Charles Brubaker
Charles Brubaker

The only way to fix the national debt is to fix the infestation of stupid and lazy in this country.

Frank Bermudez
Frank Bermudez

Nicholas Metz , thank you, I need not say a thing! You nailed it.

Jerry Holmes
Jerry Holmes

We have allowed to many low labor people into are country and we have lost almost all of are manufacturing jobs in are country!!! Until we close are borders and bring back manufacturing jobs this country will not survive. That's like GM in Mexico and iPhone in China and that's just start. We need to shut down the unions or make it to where they can not have a say in are voting system the same with corporations! It goes on and on.

Phy Foster
Phy Foster

Freedom Isn't free, you have to pay for war. Everybody wants to fight the war on terror, but no one wants to pay with money. Military warriors pay the highest price. Some gave a little, some gave a lot, and some gave all.

Noah Harvey
Noah Harvey

Rob Fisher Why they outsourced so much? Because Bill Clinton and friends encouraged them to, all the while busting unions and slashing social services. Created a bit of a bubble and struck down whatever barriers stopped them from cementing their emancipation from taxes as permanently as he could.

Kathleen Beckering
Kathleen Beckering

Russ Bischoff Trump is wealthy (not because of his own doing) and has openly admitted to using his money to manipulate the legal and political system to his advantage. He is racist and sexist and pushes for hate of our fellow man through fear. Statistically he can't win (even though he is the republican front runner) and has the lowest score by a large margin on fact checking sights. He is a great showman, one who openly tells people his opinions which does creat trust from his followers, but ultimately it won't get him the Oval Office.

Russ Bischoff
Russ Bischoff

– Most Americans realize that they missed the boat by not electing Ross Perot and have been waiting a long time for another loyal American to step up like that and now we a chance with someone even better – Let's not miss the boat again this time.

Russ Bischoff
Russ Bischoff

– Sadly, It almost appears as if the GOP/RNC is willing to lose the election to Hillary as long as they can play the game with one of their hand picked puppet candidates, so that they can just continue along with their same old lame "Good Ole boy business as usual BS" and the traitorous trade and immigration policies that have destroyed the real American economy and the future of the American people.

Russ Bischoff
Russ Bischoff

– Most Americans realize that they missed the boat by not electing Ross Perot and have been waiting a long time for another loyal American to step up like that and now we a chance with someone even better – Let's not miss the boat again this time.

Russ Bischoff
Russ Bischoff

– Sadly, It almost appears as if the GOP/RNC is willing to lose the election to Hillary as long as they can play the game with one of their hand picked puppet candidates, so that they can just continue along with their same old lame "Good Ole boy business as usual BS" and the traitorous trade and immigration policies that have destroyed the real American economy and the future of the American people.

Marion Weber
Marion Weber

The debt was not accrued overnight and it will not be gotten out of overnight either, but if we elect fisiccly responsible Senators and Representatives we will get there sooner rather than later. That means no irresponsible self interest bills that benefit only a small percentage of the population or already rich companies.

Russ Bischoff
Russ Bischoff

Kathleen Beckering – Although, I like that Sanders has helped to bring some of the core economic issues out into the light of day – He's way too far to the left and can be more easily marginalized by both parties and the corporate media as some crazy old loon, which he actually may be – Let's face it, if it wasn't for Trump our bought and paid for puppet politicians and media would still be talking about peripheral social issues rather than the core issues that have destroyed the real American economy and the future of the American people – And Trump will not allow himself to be marginalized or pushed aside.

Jackie Tschantz
Jackie Tschantz

Bernie sanders will bankrupt my family. Where is that money coming from to pay for all his free stuff. Do the math. My taxes are high enough thank you. Nothing is free. Go work for it. Margaret Thacther said it perfectly. The problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other peoples money.....

Jackie Tschantz
Jackie Tschantz

Joe Davila im sure hes paid back more in taxes over 30 years