CRFB Reiterates Its Call to Debate the Debt

In light of the Commission on Presidential Debates announcing the debate format for this year's presidential cycle, CRFB once again called for a debate where the two presidential candidates present detailed plans for reducing the debt. The three debates will have one focused on foreign policy, one on domestic policy, and one "town hall-style" debate. We will focus on getting the debt prominently featured in the latter two, but it also merits discussion in the foreign policy debate, given that Adm. Mike Mullen and others have said that the national debt is our greatest national security threat. Considering the importance of the issue going forward, it is crucial for voters to know how each candidate would go about stopping the rise of debt relative to the economy.

Under reasonable assumptions, if nothing is done, public debt will equal the size of the economy next decade and will be double the size of the economy by the 2040s. The "fiscal cliff" that is scheduled to hit at the end of the year would chip away at the debt, but at the cost of a recession next year. It is important that candidates lay out a plan that avoids both the fiscal cliff and the mountain of debt ahead.

Thousands of people have signed our Debate the Debt petition, including former Members of Congress and prominent budget experts, because they all want to see the candidates deal with the debt, not duck it. As CRFB President Maya MacGuineas said: "Taxpayers want to hear detailed plans of how each candidate would handle what experts have called the most predictable and most avoidable economic crisis in history."

We encourage everyone to sign our petition, which you can find here.