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Credible research and impartial information are critical to fostering fiscal responsibility. The Institute to Reduce Spending engages in and promotes rigorous academic research and scholarship on the subject of federal spending and budgeting. We seek to create a national, nonpartisan dialogue regarding spending reform by presenting information in a publicly accessible manner.

Will Trump Focus on the National Debt in his First 100 Days?

Immigration, regulatory roll-back, tax cuts: These are just a few of the things people have pushed President-elect Trump to focus on during his first 100 days in office, which starts on January 20th. That leaves less than two months before the start of the honeymoon period, where Trump will have a chance to make some valuable changes, quickly. One aspect, which warranted a lot less attention this election cycle is an important one — the national debt.


The nearly $20 trillion national debt has not made many headlines, but the problem is growing, quite literally, making many lawmakers anxious about the United State’s fiscal future. The price tag on Trump’s plans is hefty, forcing the President-elect to make cuts elsewhere in the budget. It was just 6 years ago that slashing federal spending was a main priority for the Tea Party activists who surged into power in the House of Representatives.


The biggest proposal from President-elect Trump has been the $1 trillion plan on infrastructure. The details aren’t readily apparent, which has made people in Washington—like Senator John Boozman (R-AK)—wary of how it will ultimately affect the debt and deficits. Trump advisors have assured that private investment will help lower the amount of spending the federal government would front. With tax credits as incentives, the argument goes, private companies will invest in roads, bridges, tunnels, and airports. Others are skeptical of the plans and are convinced the tax breaks would raise the deficit.


Medicare and other healthcare reforms have been part of Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan, and Trump has pointed to implementing these policies on his transition website. Tackling these types of reforms will help to address some of the country’s fiscal problems—but certainly not all.


The border wall is also being reevaluated—with people pointing toward more financially viable options such as a fence in some parts or implementing technology like drone patrol. Tweaks to specific immigration policies may prove to be helpful — or detrimental — in lowering the deficit and eventually tackling the debt.


Some Congressional Republicans are skeptical that Trump’s plans can be successful at lowering the debt while at the same time increasing the nation’s GDP growth dramatically. It’s clear that in order to tackle the debt, spending cuts must be made in some areas if the spending continues to rise in others.


While the issue was not as prominent this election cycle, President-elect Trump nonetheless often mentioned the importance of taking on the national debt. It seems like there is no better time than the first 100 days of his presidency to prove he will carry out his promises for fiscal reform.

Obama Administration Announces Premium Hikes Across the Board


Most of the news cycle is being dominated by coverage of this historic election, which is less than two weeks away. What has flown under the radar is the announcement from the Obama administration that premiums under the Affordable Care Act will see double-digit hikes in the upcoming year.


Many states will see an increase lower than the 25% average, while other states are left with massively rising premium costs. In addition to the price hike, about 1/5 consumers in 2017 will be forced to choose healthcare plans from only one provider because of the fact that the number of insurers is dropping from 232 to 167.


Bust the Bailouts recently released an interactive map to track the premium increases in each state. States like New York and New Mexico could see hikes as high as 80% and 90%, respectively, while the average rate hike in Tennessee is over 50% — with other states seeing similar outcomes.


The administration is attributing these price increases to the lack of sign-ups from young, healthy people, many of which would rather pay the fine than buy insurance. The more costs rise, the less incentive these same young people will have to sign up in the first place. This program is set to cost taxpayers billions of dollars, and now, looks to be on the verge of collapse because the value just isn’t there for many people.

First debate to cover spending and debt

Wednesday night, the major party Presidential candidates will face off for the final time, and for the first time, fiscal conservatives will get a chance to hear about some of the most important issues facing our country. The first two Presidential debates and the Vice Presidential debate have barely touched on these issues that used to be a mainstay of national debates. Wednesday night’s showdown might offer the first glimmer of hope that the debt and spending are not yesterday’s issue.
This debate will take place in a race in which both candidates’ plans are projected to lead to more spending and deficits, while both Clinton and Trump have previously pledged not to cut spending on Social Security. While Clinton aims to fill the gap with more taxes, Trump has offered few specifics to date.
Anyone who cares about the nation’s financial future should watch closely tonight. Louder issues may often drown it out, but fiscal sanity remains the cause of our generation.
Click here to see a list of options to live stream the debate.

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