In Iowa and New Hampshire, presidential hopefuls in both parties are learning to expect incisive questions on how they plan to rein in the federal debt from First Budget, a joint effort by The Concord Coalition and the Campaign to Fix the Debt.
First Budget officials and volunteers are pressing the presidential candidates to tell the public what their first proposed federal budget would look like if they were to assume the presidency in early 2017.
Responding to that question Wednesday from a First Budget volunteer in Iowa, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — in addition to discussing topics ranging from entitlement reform to economic growth — noted the prevalence of First Budget representatives on the campaign trail. “I see you all over and welcome you,” he said.
First Budget representatives have also questioned most of the rest of the Republican field as well as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and most of her Democratic rivals. Among the subjects discussed were job creation, Social Security, defense, energy, health spending, interest on the debt, infrastructure investment and tax policies.
“In past elections, presidential candidates have been reluctant to discuss in any detail the difficult choices that will be necessary to put the federal budget on a more responsible and sustainable path,” says Concord Coalition Executive Director Robert L. Bixby. “First Budget is trying to change that dynamic.”
Other First Budget activities include helping to inform and engage voters through public forums and guest columns in newspapers in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Last week First Budget also released a presidential election issue guide.
First Budget Makes Progress Engaging Candidates in Iowa (Video)
First Budget Activist Asks about the Debt in New Hampshire (Video)
First Budget Presidential Election Guide
Jeb Bush to First Budget: ‘I See You All Over’ (Fix the Debt Press Release)
First Budget Home Page