Will the Next President Budget Responsibly?
Today, Fix the Debt and the Concord Coalition launched First Budget – an effort to engage voters and candidates in a discussion about the nation’s unsustainable budget during the 2016 presidential campaign.
First Budget's mission is to ensure that “the first budget that the next president submits to Congress must chart a more sustainable course that strengthens the nation, encourages growth and protects coming generations from excessive government debt.” Read the full press release here.
With a long history of advocating for fiscal responsibility, these two organizations hope to raise public awareness about the growing national debt and encourage candidates to make fiscal responsibility a top priority and put forward plans to deal with our long-term fiscal imbalance. With these goals in mind, First Budget will engage voters and mobilize volunteers, starting with the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, to ask candidates directly about the debt and start a public discussion on the campaign trail.
First Budget has a number of Asks for candidates during the campaign and after they take office:
During the Campaign
- Acknowledge that the long term debt is a serious PROBLEM
- Make dealing with the debt a top policy PRIORITY in their campaign
- Put forward a PLAN for what they would do, not what they wouldn’t
- Explain how they would PAY for their policy initiatives
- Use their platform to engage and educate the PUBLIC about the tough choices in order to prepare for action once in office
For Candidate’s First Budget as President:
- Achieve declining debt levels during his or her first term in office – with debt (as a percent of the economy) lower at the end of his or her first term (2021) than when taking office, even lower at the end of his or her second term (2025), and set on a continuous downward path thereafter
- Include policies that:
- Slow the growth of federal health care spending and improve the health care delivery system so that it is less of a drain on our economy and the budget
- Make Social Security sustainable and secure, strengthening it for future retirees and generations
- Reform the tax code by eliminating, reducing or reforming tax preferences in order to simplify the code, grow the economy, enhance competitiveness and reduce the deficit
- Develop a budget that grows the economy by emphasizing pro-growth policies and ensure critical investments are protected
- Work closely with Members of Congress in both parties to enact the budget into law
To raise awareness and support candidates committed to fiscal responsibility, First Budget will also host public forums and interactive budget exercises, keep voters informed of candidates’ policies through social media, meet with candidates and staffers, reach out to media outlets and reporters, and advertise nationally.