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PGPF analysis: CBO 2015 Updated Budget and Economic Outlook

This week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its latest major report, "An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2015 To 2025." In the report, CBO projects that federal debt will rise to 77% of GDP in 2025, a historically high level of debt that threatens economic growth over the long term. Beyond 2025, debt will rise sharply relative to GDP, and CBO warns that "such high and rising debt would have serious negative consequences both for the economy and for the federal budget."

The Peterson Foundation research team has prepared a detailed analysis of the findings. Among the takeaways are: although current federal deficits have declined, they will begin rising again soon; federal debt remains historically high; interest costs on the national debt are projected to climb significantly from growing debt and rising interest rates; and mandatory spending is projected to climb significantly.

Click here to see PGPF's full analysis of CBO's new report. Additionally, Foundation President & CEO Michael A. Peterson released a statement on the CBO release, which can be found here.



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Fiscal Confidence Index: August 2015 results

PGPF has released the new results from its Fiscal Confidence Index survey. The FCI Value for August 2015 is 44 (100 is neutral), reflecting voters' consistent call for addressing our long-term fiscal challenges and putting the nation on a sustainable fiscal path as the 2016 Presidential campaign season gets underway.

PGPF President & CEO Michael A. Peterson commented on this month's results:

"Once again, the Fiscal Confidence Index makes clear that voters want candidates to put forward plans to address our nation’s long-term fiscal challenges. Americans understand that putting our fiscal house in order is vital to ensure a growing, prosperous economy and are calling for more action from their leaders."

See the full results for August, and read this month's press release which includes the survey questions and polling response breakdowns.



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PGPF analysis: 2015 GAO Fiscal Outlook

In its latest Federal Fiscal Outlook report, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) warns that the national debt could reach unsustainable levels: from 74% of GDP in 2014 to 166% in 2039. The Peterson Foundation has examined the GAO findings and presents those results in a brief analysis, including chart data. Click here to read that analysis, "GAO Sends Clear Warning: Long-term Debt is on an Unsustainable Path."

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Celebrating Social Security's 80th Anniversary

This Friday marks the 80th anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act into law. To commemorate this historic legislation, this week the Peterson Foundation will highlight charts, analyses, and other original research that illustrate the current and future fiscal outlook of Social Security.

Social Security is the largest single federal program, and accounts for approximately one quarter of all federal spending. Follow #SocialSecurity80 on Twitter, Facebook, and other social channels to join the conversation and learn more.



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2015 Fiscal Summit Summary and Highlights Book

Take an in-depth look at the 2015 Fiscal Summit with the Summary and Highlights book, which features detailed recaps and photos from each panel and interview.

This year's Summit, entitled "Opportunity for America," included thoughts and perspectives from a range of elected officials, economic policy experts and current and former high-level administration officials including Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; Secretary Julián Castro; Former CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf; House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy; House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer; House Budget Chair Tom Price; Admiral Mike Mullen; Former White House Chiefs of Staff Joshua Bolten, Andrew Card and William Daley; Alan Greenspan; Michèle Flournoy and more.

Click here to read and download the complete Summary and Highlights, and learn more about the Summit, including full videos, here.



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Fiscal Confidence Index: July 2015 results

PGPF has released the latest results from its Fiscal Confidence Index survey. The FCI Value for July 2015 is 47 (100 is neutral), indicating voters’ continuing desire to see policymakers in Washington address America’s fiscal challenges.

PGPF President & CEO Michael A. Peterson commented on the new FCI results:

"As election season begins, fiscal and economic issues will be a key part of the conversation between voters and candidates. Americans understand that our economy needs a more sustainable fiscal foundation, and they will be looking for leaders who have a plan to secure our nation’s fiscal and economic future."

See the full results for July, and read this month's press release which includes the survey questions and polling response breakdowns.



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2015 Social Security & Medicare Trustees Reports: charts and analysis

Yesterday the Board of Trustees for Social Security and Medicare released their annual reports on the current and future state of those programs. The Peterson Foundation has prepared analysis based on those reports, illustrating the key data points with pertinent chart information. Click here for the PGPF analyses, along with a statement from Foundation President & CEO Michael Peterson on the 2015 Trustee reports.




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Pete Peterson: CED 2015 Leadership Award

Recently, PGPF Founder and Chairman Pete Peterson was awarded the Committee for Economic Development’s 2015 Leadership Award, recognizing his years of service and contributions to CED. Click here for more information, including the video of his acceptance speech.



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Michael Peterson interview on PBS' "The Open Mind"

This past weekend's edition of PBS TV's "The Open Mind" welcomed PGPF President and CEO Michael A. Peterson for a half-hour interview. The episode, entitled "Beyond Debt," featured show host Alexander Heffner talking with Mr. Peterson about finding sustainable solutions to the long-term fiscal challenge of America's national debt.

A highlight of their conversation:

HEFFNER: So your goal now in terms of the public awareness is to demystify the issue, and has been. Let’s start with the first of those three areas you identified. Can deficit reform and your approach, can that co-exist with what we would like to preserve as a safety net for those older citizens... can those two things co-exist.

PETERSON: Absolutely... I would argue that if you don’t deal with this your safety net is in jeopardy. We all know that in a fiscal crisis things can happen to the budget. We can be in a situation where we have to make immediate cuts that are unintelligent, and I would argue that if we have a sound fiscal footing [we] wouldn’t do that. It’s when you have they have a debt crisis, and you may have an economic crisis that’s caused in part by the debt crisis, that you might have to do unfortunate things and therefore the safety net [would be] in jeopardy... I would say one example is the sequestration that occurred. This was all self-inflicted because we were dealing with brinksmanship in Washington and so forth and they put in place... remember the so-called Super Committee and all these measures and no one expected sequestration to happen but sequestration did happen and they slashed across the board and cut a lot of programs, but I don’t think anybody really would have cut it quite that way if we had had control of the budget in a more strategic sense. So I would argue that’s one example of where you have fiscal uncertainty causing cuts in programs that don’t make sense. So, I would argue anyone who cares about the safety net should be very focused on preserving it and making sure that we have a sound fiscal footing for the future.

Premiering in 1956, "The Open Mind" is a weekly public affairs program designed to elicit guests’ insights into the challenges Americans face in a variety of contemporary areas of national concern. Click here for the full "Beyond Debt" episode video and transcript.



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Pete Peterson op-ed on Greek crisis in USA Today

An op-ed by PGPF Founder and Chairman Pete Peterson is featured today in USA Today. The opinion piece, "America Can't Afford Greek Complacency," shares Pete's perspective on the fiscal challenges Greece is currently facing and the lessons America could learn from this crisis. An excerpt from the piece:

"While American debt can inflict pain on its citizens the same way that Greece's has, one critical comparative advantage we have is time. This time gives us a wider range of options to choose from, and to make decisions on our own terms. Because a major fiscal crisis is not right in front of us, we can implement reforms that are sensible, gradual and compassionate."

Read the op-ed in its entirety. For more of the Foundation's statements and press releases, click here.



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