Download our materials and give a presentation on the national debt situation to a local group like a Rotary Club.
Use our interactive Debt Fixer federal budget tool to conduct a group exercise to foster an informed discussion on what it will take to fix the debt.
After you have done the presentation, help us track the presentations happening across the country and give us feedback on how we can improve the experience.
Educators, community leaders, elected officials, and civic and business groups across the country are using the Debt Fixer to help educate people about the federal budget and national debt.
This online interactive tool allows groups large and small to gather and debate the difficult trade-offs necessary to put the United States on a sustainable economic budget path. Participants spend time negotiating and selecting budget priorities, including in areas like health care, defense, Social Security, taxes and other domestic spending, which demonstrates how such choices impact our national debt. Recent updates to the Debt Fixer reflect the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.
The Debt Fixer was developed by the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, an organization led by budget experts that has provided objective research and analysis of budget issues for over 35 years. The Campaign to Fix the Debt is a project of the Committee.
For group facilitators: You can download a slide deck to accompany this exercise here. You can also request a dedicated link to view the aggregate customized results of your group by contacting us at DEBTFIXER@CRFB.ORG. Or you can arrange for us to facilitate this exercise with you in person here. There is no cost for an in-person facilitator, but we would ask that your organization cover the cost of travel.
This exercise is best conducted when large groups break into smaller groups with each having web access on a laptop or tablet. Each group will have a leader who will input their group’s results on dedicated sites, which will then appear on the facilitator’s dedicated back-end page.
Please contact us! DEBTFIXER@CRFB.ORG.
Students discuss options at a Debt Fixer budget exercise.
"The Debt Fixer brought to light the hard choices our federal policy-makers face every day – how do we provide meaningful goods and services to society while still being fiscally responsible? Students learned there are no easy solutions."
“When our municipal leaders went through the exercise, they enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a terrific experience to see the debt discussion through the lens of local government officials.”
Colorado Municipal League
"The Debt Fixer shows students that there is no magic behind balancing the budget; it is simply a matter of prioritizing and making decisions."
University of West Florida
With a recent spike in the federal budget deficit and national debt well on its way to levels never seen before, policymakers and the media are finally talking about the problem. At this critical moment, we are crisscrossing the country, talking to Americans and providing them with an opportunity to show their leaders how to fix the debt. Below are some recent highlights:
Our nationwide roadshow has featured distinguished speakers from former Members of Congress to business leaders who discuss the deteriorating budget situation and how it is symbolic of a broken political system.
A Threat to National Security. A bipartisan duo of former Members of Congress, Chris Gibson (R-NY) and Jim Slattery (D-KS) [pictured, right], addressed a conference in Albany hosted by The Business Council of New York State. Regarding the critical nature of the issue, Slattery told the media, "I believe that the deficit and the debt issue, $21 trillion worth of debt, is the most serious threat to our national security out there." Afterwards, they appeared together on a local news show. And they published an op-ed together.
From Washington to the West Coast. We are speaking to a wide variety of community groups and students about the challenges posed by rising deficits and debt, and what can be done about it. Recent stops included former Congressman Tim Penny (D-MN) addressing a group in Edina, Minnesota; former Congressman Jim McCrery (R-LA) speaking to the Rotary Club of Shreveport in Louisiana; former Congressman Vic Fazio (D-CA) meeting with American University students in Washington, DC; former World Fuel Services Corp. Chairman and CEO Paul Stebbins headlining an economic summit near Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Maya MacGuineas, head of Fix the Debt, addressing the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in California [pictured, left]. We also addressed the Colorado Business Roundtable in Denver, Colorado; the Newark Rotary Club in Delaware; the World Affairs Club of Charlotte in North Carolina; and the Metropolitan Breakfast Club in Austin, Texas, among other groups.
Want us to visit with your organization? You can request a speaker for your group here.
Americans Across the Country Are Fixing the Debt with the recently-updated Debt Fixer federal budget tool. This online, interactive resource is also being used in classrooms and with groups across the country in engaging budget exercises that facilitate informed discussion about addressing rising debt.
We recently conducted exercises at locales such as Furman University in South Carolina; the University of Delaware; University of Wisconsin-Madison; the ERISA Industry Committee conference in Washington, DC; and the University of Denver in Colorado. A recent exercise at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith [pictured, right] involved over 200 students and received extensive local media coverage.
We can help you organize a group exercise for your community organization or school by providing a dedicated link for using the tool together and possibly providing a facilitator. With interest rates rising and permanent trillion-dollar deficits right around the corner, these exercises are more important than ever.
Time to Step Up. Former Congressman James Jones (D-OK) spoke to the Tulsa World editorial board on behalf of Fix the Debt, stressing the need for leadership: “Until we get people who really want to step out and use their brains ... we’re just going to be sliding down.” To that end, we provided candidates for Congress with a guidebook on how to discuss the debt constructively in this campaign.
In the latest sign that the national debt is rising on a truly unsustainable course, new projections from our partners at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget show the debt will reach over 350 percent of the U.S. economy in 75 years under current law, and debt will go just beyond 600 percent if current policies like recent tax cuts and spending hikes are extended. By contrast, the debt was 35 percent of the economy as recently as 2007 and is currently 78 percent.
Momentum is building to fix the debt. With your continued support, we will grow our collective voice and achieve solutions for a brighter, more fiscally responsible future.