The Economic Priorities Facing our Next President

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By Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Special for  USDR

Leading experts and policymakers from across the political spectrum gather today to discuss the fiscal and economic priorities for the next president, at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s 2016 Fiscal Summit: Leadership for a Secure Future. The Foundation’s seventh-annual Fiscal Summit will explore the leadership required to solve our long-term fiscal challenges and secure America’s economic  future.

At $19 trillion and growing, the national debt threatens America’s fiscal, economic, and national security. Our global standing and ability to confront our greatest threats tomorrow are dependent on our leaders today. If the next president serves two full terms, by the time he or she leaves office, interest alone on the national debt will become the third-largest government “program.” Throughout the Summit, policymakers, experts, and thought leaders will offer their recommendations on what needs to be accomplished in the next four to eight years to make progress on our nation’s  priorities.

“Addressing our nation’s unprecedented and unsustainable long-term debt is critical to securing a strong, growing economy of the future,” said Pete Peterson, Founder and Chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. “At today’s Fiscal Summit, America’s leading voices—from both sides of the aisle—will share their ideas and recommendations for putting our nation on a solid and sustainable fiscal path in order to ensure widely shared economic prosperity and opportunity for the next  generation.”

“This election season, voters understand the importance of our national debt, and they are calling on candidates of both parties to secure America’s economic future,” said Michael A. Peterson, President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. “Eighty percent of voters agree that addressing the national debt should be among the President and Congress’ top 3 priorities, and the 2016 campaign is the perfect opportunity for a conversation between Americans and their candidates about our economic future. Today, the Summit will enable valuable discussions around the fiscal priorities and options for the next  president.”

2016 Summit participants will  include:

  • House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
  • Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee
  • Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
  • Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
  • Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)
  • Secretary Chuck Hagel, 24th United States Secretary of Defense and former U.S. Senator
  • Senator Sam Nunn, former U.S. Senator, and Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI)
  • Mike Mullen, USN (Ret.), 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Keith Hall, Director of the U.S. Congressional Budget Office
  • Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President of the American Action Forum and former Director of the U.S. Congressional Budget Office
  • Robert Reischauer, President Emeritus of the Urban Institute and former Director of the U.S. Congressional Budget Office
  • Heather Boushey, Executive Director and Chief Economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth
  • Sam Clovis, National Co-Chair and Chief Policy Advisor to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.
  • Carroll Doherty, Director of Political Research at Pew Research Center
  • David Kamin, Economic Advisor to Hillary for America
  • James Pethokoukis, Editor of AEIdeas and DeWitt Wallace Fellow at American Enterprise Institute

Moderators and interviewers for the Summit will  include:

  • Dana Bash, Chief Political Correspondent, CNN
  • Mark Halperin, Managing Editor of Bloomberg Politics, and co-host of MSNBC and Bloomberg’s “With All Due Respect”
  • John Harwood, Chief Washington Correspondent for CNBC and political writer for The New York Times
  • John Heilemann, Managing Editor of Bloomberg Politics, and co-host of MSNBC and Bloomberg’s “With All Due Respect”
  • Neil King, Jr., Global Economics Editor, The Wall Street Journal
  • Ruth Marcus, Columnist, The Washington Post
  • David Sanger, National Security Correspondent, The New York Times

The day’s agenda will  include:

  • CBO Director Keith Hall will illuminate America’s current fiscal picture, as well as the critically important projections and trends that will shape our economic future.
  • Former CBO directors Doug Holtz-Eakin and Robert Reischauer will preview the policy and political challenges facing America’s next president.
  • Members of the Coalition for Fiscal and National Security—a bipartisan group of highly distinguished and respected leaders in defense, economic, and national security policy—will discuss their new statement to draw our country’s attention to how our fiscal health is fundamentally linked to our national security, and to the urgent need to update and re-prioritize our defense and foreign policy strategies to reflect a changing security environment.
  • In a series of one-on-one conversations, leaders from the U.S. House and Senate will assess policy and politics in three key areas: the challenges associated with major legislation during an election; the possibilities enabled by the lame-duck session; and the opportunity for reform in a new administration and Congress in 2017.
  • Policy advisors to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tell us how their candidates are preparing to address America’s unsustainable fiscal outlook and secure a strong economy of the future.
  • During the day, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in the Foundation’s “Ask for a Plan” campaign. This national engagement and education campaign encourages voters to ask candidates for federal office for their plan to address the nation’s unsustainable fiscal outlook. Participants can send a letter or a tweet asking candidates for a fiscal plan at To date, more than 25,000 letters and tweets have been sent to candidates via “Ask for a Plan” by voters across the nation.

More information about the Summit is available at:

About the Peter G. Peterson  Foundation
The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the nature and urgency of key fiscal challenges threatening America’s future, and to accelerating action on them. To address these challenges successfully, we work to bring Americans together to find and implement sensible, long-term solutions that transcend age, party lines and ideological divides in order to achieve real results. To learn more, please visit


SOURCE Peter G. Peterson  Foundation

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