About the Campaign

Fix the Debt is a nonpartisan organization that is educating Americans about rising national debt and how it will affect all of us. It is a project of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget


We are mobilizing Americans from all backgrounds to urge policymakers to work together on a comprehensive solution that includes bipartisan government spending and tax reform.


U.S. debt is at its highest level since just after World War II. Perpetual $1 trillion dollar annual federal budget deficits on the horizon mean the debt could rise higher than it has ever been as a share of the economy in about a decade.


Debt at such levels will slow the growth of the economy and wages, make it more difficult to responds to challenges like a recession, and increase the likelihood of a fiscal crisis.


It is time to Fix the Debt: We Owe it to the Future.



Fix the Debt supporters from across the country at the U.S. Capitol during a Washington, DC visit.
Fix the Debt supporters from across the country at the U.S. Capitol during a Washington, DC visit.

Videos

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Our videos explain key concepts and show support for fixing the debt. 

Press Releases

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Our statements on key developments.

Debt Denial Continues at Debates

  

October 16, 2019


With 374 questions asked during four presidential debates, there has still not been a single one posed about the national debt or the looming insolvency of our entitlement programs.


The following is a statement from the nonpartisan Campaign to Fix the Debt Co-Chairs Judd Gregg and Edward Rendell:


The next president will inherit a daunting national debt, yet during 15 hours of debate, there has been no acknowledgment of reality or question about the projected worst fiscal situation in our history.  


Debt is the largest share of the economy in history other than just after World War II, and we’re adding more than a trillion dollars every year forever. 


Some of our largest trust funds are also running out of reserves – Social Security will be insolvent when today’s youngest retirees are still in their 70s.


With many candidates proposing big ideas but too few talking about how to pay for them and none talking about how to fix the underlying fiscal situation, this is the one issue that could act as a wet blanket over their entire agenda. 


None of this is sustainable, and we need a plan for the debt from all presidential candidates.


We owe the next generation a question about the debt.


For more information, contact Patrick Newton at newton@crfb.org.

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Thank You to Those Who Stood up for Fiscal Responsibility

August 5, 2019

  

Last week, President Trump signed a deficit-financed budget agreement that will increase spending by $320 billion for two years and add roughly $1.7 trillion to projected debt levels over the next decade. While the agreement was supported by the majority of both chambers, 28 senators and 149 representatives voted against the bill. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, head of the Campaign to Fix the Debt.


The fact that policymakers, Congress and the President, just added $1.7 trillion to the debt with almost no offsets shows just how broken the political system is. Including the recent tax cuts and other bills, lawmakers have added more than $4 trillion to projected debt since the beginning of 2017.


A number of Members in both parties and chambers stood strongly on principle in opposing this reckless deal. This is exactly the type of vote we look at when identifying fiscal heroes. These members deserve our gratitude.


Members who voted against the budget deal and also opposed the 2017 tax cuts:


Senators: Michael Bennet (D-CO), Tom Carper (D-DE), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT)


Representatives: Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Jim Cooper (D-TN), Ron Kind (D-WI), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Scott Peters (D-CA), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Lee Zeldin (R-NY)


Other senators who voted against the budget deal:


Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), *Mike Braun (R-IN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Cory Gardner (R-CO), *Josh Hawley (R-MO), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John Kennedy (R-LA), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Rand Paul (R-KY), James Risch (R-ID), *Mitt Romney (R-UT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Sasse (R-NE), *Rick Scott (R-FL), Tim Scott (R-SC), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Pat Toomey (R-PA) 


Other representatives who voted against the budget deal:


Ralph Abraham (R-LA), Rick Allen (R-GA), Justin Amash (I-MI), Mark Amodei (R-NV), *Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Jodey Arrington (R-TX), *James Baird (R-IN), *Troy Balderson (R-OH), Jim Banks (R-IN), Andy Barr (R-KY), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), *Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Ken Buck (R-CO), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Ted Budd (R-NC), *Tim Burchett (R-TN), Michael Burgess (R-TX), Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Steve Chabot (R-OH), *Ben Cline (R-VA), *Michael Cloud (R-TX), James Comer (R-KY), Rick Crawford (R-AR), *Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), *Joe Cunningham (D-SC), John Curtis (R-UT), Warren Davidson (R-OH), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Ron Estes (R-KS), Bill Flores (R-TX), Virginia Foxx (R-NC), *Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Greg Gianforte (R-MT), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), *Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), *Lance Gooden (R-TX), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Garret Graves (R-LA), Sam Graves (R-MO), Tom Graves (R-GA), *Mark Green (R-TN), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Glenn Grothman (R-WI), *Michael Guest (R-MS), *Jim Hagedorn (R-MN), *Josh Harder (D-CA), Andy Harris (R-MD), *Kevin Hern (R-OK), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Jody Hice (R-GA), Clay Higgins (R-LA), George Holding (R-NC), Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), Richard Hudson (R-NC), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), *Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Mike Johnson (R-LA), Jim Jordan (R-OH), *John Joyce (R-PA), *Fred Keller (R-PA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Trent Kelly (R-MS), Steve King (R-IA), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Bob Latta (R-OH), *Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), Billy Long (R-MO), Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Brian Mast (R-FL), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Paul Mitchell (R-MI), John Moolenaar (R-MI), Alex Mooney (R-WV), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), *Ben McAdams (D-UT), Tom McClintock (R-CA), David McKinley (R-WV), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Pete Olson (R-TX), *Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Gary Palmer (R-AL), Scott Perry (R-PA), Bill Posey (R-FL), *Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), John Ratcliffe (R-TX), Tom Reed (R-NY), Tom Rice (R-SC), *Denver Riggleman (R-VA), Phil Roe (R-TN), Francis Rooney (R-FL), *John Rose (R-TN), David Rouzer (R-NC), *Chip Roy (R-TX), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Austin Scott (R-GA), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), John Shimkus (R-IL), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Jason Smith (R-MO), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), *Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), *Ross Spano (R-FL), *Bryan Steil (R-WI), *Gregory Steube (R-FL), Steve Stivers (R-OH), *Van Taylor (R-TX), *William Timmons (R-SC), Scott Tipton (R-CO), Ann Wagner (R-MO), Tim Walberg (R-MI), Mark Walker (R-NC), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), *Michael Waltz (R-FL), *Steve Watkins (R-KS), Randy Weber (R-TX), Dan Webster (R-FL), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Roger Williams (R-TX), Rob Wittman (R-VA), *Ron Wright (R-TX), Ted Yoho (R-FL)


* Did not vote/was not in office for the vote on the 2017 tax cuts.


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For more information, contact Ben Tomchik at tomchik@crfb.org.

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Debate the Debt

July 30, 2019


The following is a statement from Campaign to Fix the Debt Co-Chairs Judd Gregg and Edward Rendell calling on Democratic candidates for president to discuss the debt this week during the presidential debates:


In the first presidential debates, there was barely a mention of the word debt. Yet the rapidly rising and historic national debt sits over our nation like a wet blanket – smothering every proposal and promise of a better future. We need a robust debate on how to deal with the national debt, not more denial and disregard.


In just a few years, we will spend more on interest payments on the debt than on Medicaid or the military all while Social Security and Medicare spiral toward insolvency. This isn’t a future anyone wants, and the situation is getting worse by the day.


It is telling that the week of these next debates, the Senate will likely pass a massive spending increase thrown almost entirely on the national credit card. The bill doesn’t even have enough offsets to cover the interest payments on the new debt it creates. If signed into law, $4.1 trillion of additional debt will have been enacted through tax cuts and a 21-percent increase in regular spending since 2017.


The next president will face this problem whether they like it or not; it is time we hear their plan.


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For more information, contact Patrick Newton at newton@crfb.org.


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U.S. Debt Tops $22 Trillion for First Time

February 12, 2019


The U.S. Treasury confirmed today that the gross U.S. national debt topped $22 trillion for the first time in history yesterday, February 11, 2019. Figures published daily by the government show the gross debt at $22.013 trillion.


The following is a statement from the Campaign to Fix the Debt Co-Chairs Judd Gregg and Edward Rendell:


This milestone is another sad reminder of the inexcusable tab our nation’s leaders continue to run up and will leave for the next generation.


With deficits rising, and gross debt scheduled to increase by more than $1 trillion annually forever into the future, now is the time Congress must take action to put us on a more sustainable path.


The fiscal recklessness over past years has been shocking, with few willing to step up with a real plan. We need responsible leadership to fix the debt, not a worsening of partisanship.


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For more information, contact Patrick Newton at newton@crfb.org.

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Now Is the Time for Cooperation and Leadership

November 7, 2018


The following is a statement by the Co-Chairs of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, Governor Ed Rendell and Senator Judd Gregg:


With a new Congress comes a new opportunity to solve our nation’s  biggest problems. Our leaders now face a choice – partisanship or  progress.


We are entering this next year with surging and unsustainable levels of  debt ($21.7 trillion and climbing), and the new Congress just elected  will preside over the return of trillion-dollar deficits. 


The outgoing Congress passed legislation adding $2.4 trillion to the  debt over the next decade through unpaid-for tax cuts and spending  increases, and no progress was made on fixing our health and retirement programs. It is a problem the next Congress will not be able to ignore.


Our leaders need to acknowledge the tough choices ahead and level with the American people on our increasingly dangerous and out-of-control fiscal situation and what it will take to fix it.


Although we come from different parties, we are both Americans who want to continue the essential tradition of leaving the country better off  for the next generation. We cannot afford more partisanship and short-sightedness.


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For more information, contact Patrick Newton at newton@crfb.org.

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Debt to Double in 30 Years

June 26, 2018


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released its Long-Term (30-year) Budget Outlook, which warns that our already historically high debt will rise from 77 percent of the economy today to 152 percent by 2048 under current law, and much more if various expiring policies are  continued.


The following is a statement from the Campaign to Fix the Debt Co-Chairs Judd Gregg and Edward Rendell:


Congress continues to focus more on the next election than the next generation. CBO has shown us today the dangers of continuing to ignore the long term.


Debt is on track to exceed the size of the economy by 2031 and reach a new record of 107 percent of the economy by 2034. In three decades, CBO projects debt will double to 152 percent of the economy.


This level of debt would be unprecedented. It would reduce incomes, increase interest rates, raise federal debt service payments, and it would surely be unsustainable.


Meanwhile, Social Security and Medicare are both on course toward insolvency in the next 14 years. It’s all a recipe for fiscal disaster.


There is still time to avoid the crisis scenario CBO projects, but waiting  until the last minute won’t work. Congress should come up with a plan now to put the debt on a downward path and protect current and future generations.


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For more information, contact Patrick Newton at newton@crfb.org.

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Fix the Debt Videos

Why the National Debt Matters.

Tax Expenditures: Spending Through the Tax Code.

What Will Our Legacy be on Reducing National Debt?

Simpson and Bowles Urge Action to Fix the Debt.

Americans Speak Out

Voters Want Washington to Fix the Debt.

We the People Say: Fix the Debt.

Listen to the People and Fix the Debt.