Sign up with Fix the Debt to receive regular updates and opportunities to get involved. Then get your friends, family and other contacts to join the campaign. Sign Up and Recruit.
Arrange a meeting with a representative when he/she is home during a congressional recess with our toolkit that guides you through the process.
Attend a townhall or other event with your representative and ask a question about the national debt.
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.
Fix the Debt is active on social media. Check out the links below, join our virtual community and help drive the online conversation. Be sure to use the hashtag #fixthedebt.
Tell your Members of Congress that you joined Fix the Debt and you expect them to support the goals of the movement. Click here to write your representatives in Congress. Below is sample text for a letter.
The national debt is one of the most important issues facing the United States. That is why I have joined the Fix the Debt Campaign and hope you will commit to addressing our fiscal challenges in a responsible, bipartisan manner.
The debt is exceptionally high by historical standards and is on course to reach unprecedented, and unsustainable, levels in the coming years. For the sake of our economy, security and future generations, we should be addressing the debt now.
The Fix the Debt Campaign includes Americans across the country from all backgrounds who are willing to work together to find common ground in getting the debt under control.
As a constituent, I hope you will embrace the goals of Fix the Debt and work with us to put the country on the right path. More information about the movement can be found at https://www.fixthedebt.org.
Members of Congress and candidates for office regularly convene and attend public events when they are home for a congressional recess and during the campaign season. While fewer representatives convene town hall-style meetings with constituents nowadays, they still hold various meet-and-greet events such as open office hours.
These events are a great opportunity to let your representatives know that the national debt is important to you as a constituent as well as an effective tactic for getting lawmakers on the record on the issue and clarifying their stance. Here are the steps for attending an event and asking a question.
Write a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper about the need to address the national debt.
Find your local paper here and write and send your letter directly to the newspaper.
Here are some tips for writing your letter:
Pick one newspaper to write to. If that paper does not print the letter, then you can send to another.
Keep it brief. Letters to the Editor requirements vary by newspaper, but generally letters should be about 200 words.
Discuss why the issue is important to you personally. For example, you can discuss how rising national debt will affect you and your family.
It is most effective to tie the letter to a recent article in the paper or a recent development.
Here are some talking points to help you draft your letter.
• The federal budget deficit will top $1 trillion by next year and stay above the level permanently on our present course.
• Today, national debt held by the public is 78% of our economy, which is higher than it has been since just after World War II.
• The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects the national debt will exceed the size of the economy within a decade.
• An aging population, rising health care costs, growing interest payments on the debt, and insufficient revenue are the primary drivers of the long-term debt.
• Investments in education, infrastructure, research, housing, and transportation that can help grow the economy and improve our standard of living will be squeezed into a small sliver of the budget.
• Higher national debt means higher interest rates down the road and less capital available for small businesses, large companies, and families to borrow and invest.
• Families will feel the effects of rising debt because reduced investment will mean lower wages while higher interest rates will make home, automobile, credit card and college loans more expensive.
• The Campaign to Fix the Debt is a nonpartisan movement to put America on a better fiscal and economic path. More information about the movement can be found at http://www.fixthedebt.org
Local groups are often looking for presentations on important and timely topics. Having a member of the community give the presentation can provide added relevance.
Below are steps for giving a presentation on the national debt. We also have resources available to make creating and giving a presentation easy. Or you can request a speaker to visit your organization here.
Offer to give a presentation to a local organization such as a Rotary Club, Moose Lodge or church group.
Use our slides above to create a presentation. More resources are available here.
Be sure to practice be ing concise and explaining the issue clearly.Don’t forget to personalize your talk and tell your story about getting involved and why it matters to you.
Include a call to action at the end of the presentation for the audience to learn more about Fix the debt and join the campaign at FixtheDebt.org.
After you have done the presentation, help us track the discussions happening across the country and give us feedback on how we can improve the experience here.
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), 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, right]. 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 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.
Learn more about using the Debt Fixer in groups with this one-pager or by contacting email@example.com. The tool is also great to use individually. Give it a try at http://www.crfb.org/debtfixer/.
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.
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