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President Trump Fails to Address Growing National Debt in State of the Union Speech

Jan 30, 2018 | Budgets & Projections

For Immediate Release

President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address on Tuesday. Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said the following:

Missing tonight from the President’s speech was any mention of our growing and unsustainable national debt. Following a year that can only be described as a debt-financed binge, the U.S. is now on track to return to trillion-dollar annual deficits next year. If Congress doesn’t offset the budget deal under negotiation, we could see two-trillion-dollar annual deficits by 2027.

Much of the focus was rightly on the economy, but a sustainable growth plan should be our national objective. Although President Trump focused on the short-term economic boost given by his tax cuts, he ignored that legislation he signed into law during the past year will add roughly $1.9 trillion to the debt between now and the end of a hypothetical second term. High debt is a drag on the economy, and the more positive effects of the tax bill will eventually be overtaken by historic red ink. The President also did not address the ongoing need to address our nation’s largest entitlements, which need to be strengthened.

The debt is a critical issue that requires presidential leadership to fix, and we sincerely hope President Trump and Congress lay out a plan soon to put it on a downward and sustainable path. An excellent first step would be to agree to stop making it worse. With our fiscal situation deteriorating rapidly, continuing our nation’s addiction to debt is no longer an option.

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