Debt Will Rise Under the Next President

Debt would rise from from today’s level under the plans of each of the three remaining presidential candidates – Secretary Clinton, Senator Sanders, and Donald Trump – though by different amounts.

Under Secretary Clinton, we estimate debt would rise to 86 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2026 – roughly in line with current law projections. Under Senator Sanders, we estimate debt would rise to 154 percent of GDP. Finally, under Donald Trump, debt would rise to 129 percent of GDP.

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Updated Analysis of Bernie Sanders' Plans

We've updated our analysis of Bernie Sanders' budget plans, estimating that they would now add almost $19 trillion to the already unsustainable national debt. The total increased to incorporate the findings of two new independent estimates of Senator Sanders’s “Medicare for All” plan that find – consistent with our previous “high health cost estimate” – that his plan would cost at least twice as much as the campaign’s estimate.

 

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Adding Up Secretary Clinton’s Campaign Proposals So Far

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has proposed numerous new policies that would increase spending and expand tax breaks along with other policies that would increase taxes and reduce certain spending.  We estimate that Secretary Clinton’s proposals would cost $1.80 trillion over a decade with interest, and they would be nearly fully paid for with $1.60 trillion of offsets – primarily from taxes on high earners.

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Nine Social Security Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

Social Security is a vital program for tens of millions of seniors, dependents, and workers with disabilities, but many of the conversations happening during the 2016 campaign repeat many myths about the program.

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CRFB's Blog: The Bottom Line

When the Senate considers this year's National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) is expected to offer an amendment to increase authorized defense spending for fiscal year 2017 by $18 billion. Although the amendment would not technically break the discretionary spending limits because the funds would still need to be appropriated, adoption of the McCain amendment would set the stage for busting the caps in the defense appropriations bill.

Currently, Congress is debating if and how to provide emergency funding to fight the Zika virus. The President has requested $1.9 billion in emergency funding this February to fight the mosquito-borne virus, while the Senate has offered $1.1 billion in emergency funding and the House would provide $622 million of fully-offset funds.

May 23, 2016
We need smart solutions, not glib gimmicks

Donald Trump has promised to pay off the debt in eight years. That would require $28 trillion in savings over 10 years. He has also promised to balance the budget, which would require a still-hefty $8 trillion in savings.

A big problem with these promises: His plans to date would cost — not save — $12 trillion.

Trump is right to identify dealing with the debt as a pressing national problem. But his plans so far are utterly unworkable.

May 19, 2016
Queen of Washington's Budget Wonks

Alice Rivlin is a former director of the Congressional Budget Office and Office of Management and Budget. She has served as a member of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility (Simpson-Bowles) and a co-chair of the Domenici-Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force. She is currently on the board of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. She recently appeared on "The Ezra Klein Show." A summary of the interview is available below, and the full interview can be listened to here.

 
August 6, 2015
Too often, election campaigns tell voters what they want to hear rather than what they need to know. That's why Fiscal FactCheck evaluates statements made by the 2016 presidential candidates. We also provide a nonpartisan explanation of many of their policies, and tally the fiscal effects of the candidates' plans.
June 4, 2013
CRFB's latest interactive tool "The Reformer" is a handy game that allows users to design their own Social Security plan. Users can select from a wide variety of benefit and revenue changes to make the system sustainably solvent. The tool then shows the effect on the program's finances and benefit and tax levels.

Join Our Team!

Current job opportunities at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget include:

  • Deputy Policy Director
  • Director of the Fiscal Institute

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CRFB Projects

The McCrery-Pomeroy SSDI Solutions Initiative is dedicated to identifying practical improvements to the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. The SSDI Solutions Initiative is calling for academic papers on innovative ways to make the SSDI program better serve workers with disabilities, those who pay into the program, and the economy as a whole.

The Campaign to Fix the Debt is an unprecedented and bipartisan coalition that seeks to mobilize members of business, government, and policy communities to urge Congress and the President to enact a comprehensive debt deal.

There is a growing consensus that the budget process is broken. The Better Budget Process Initiative will put forward specific options to reform and improve the budget process in a wide range of areas, including increasing focus on the long-term fiscal outlook, improving the process for dealing with the debt limit, strengthening statutory budget enforcement, revising the content and structure of the budget resolution, moving to biennial budgeting, and addressing treatment of tax expenditures in the budget process.