Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
Concept_DC_Capitol Building

Co-Chairs Call on Trump to Talk About National Debt in First Address to Joint Session of Congress

Feb 27, 2017 | Budgets & Projections
Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget co-chairs Mitch Daniels, Leon Panetta, and Tim Penny released the following statement Monday calling on President Trump to talk about the national debt during his first address to a joint session of Congress.
 
President Trump stands before Congress for the first time tomorrow night facing a challenge that has plagued his recent predecessors and has now reached a historic milestone.
 
Not since Harry Truman has the national debt been so high as a share of the economy for a new president. And even worse, it is on an unsustainable and rapidly rising path.
 
Earlier this year, we laid out ten concrete steps the new President could take to ensure strong economic growth and a sustainable fiscal outlook for future generations.
 
President Trump should use the power of the presidency during tomorrow’s address to talk about the danger our debt poses and begin to put a plan forward to fix it.
 
That plan should start with a simple objective: stop digging the hole deeper. In your first budget, propose only what you can pay for, and pay for all you propose. Do not rely on fuzzy math, fake growth forecasts, or accounting gimmicks. There are many worthwhile new initiatives – and those that are worth doing, are worth paying for.
 
Any plan should open the door to a budget that puts the debt on a path to sustainable levels. This will require tough choices, but it will be well worth the effort as it avoids the pitfalls of excessive debt and will instead contribute to a more vibrant and growing economy.
 
A comprehensive growth strategy will be aided by reducing waste and inefficiencies throughout the government, improving the regulatory environment, pursuing fiscally-responsible pro-growth tax reform, containing rising health care spending, and making Social Security solvent.
 
One speech can’t solve all our country’s problems, but it can be the first step.
 
President Trump and the new Congress should seize this moment and go down in history as the government that gave America back its fiscal future.
 
###
 
For more information contact Patrick Newton, Press Secretary, at newton@crfb.org.