When I was farming, I sat at the kitchen table many times and talked with my family about how we were going to make the budget work – some years, that wasn’t an easy conversation.  I had that same conversation in the state legislature and so we balanced the budget every year I served.  I’m working again to have that conversation in Washington because I recognize we don’t have a financial problem in this country because Washington takes too little of our hard-earned money.  We’ve got a problem because it spends and wastes too much of our money.

The nation currently carries more than $18 trillion in debt and we’re borrowing more than 40 cents to the dollar, much of that from foreign countries like China.  Those debts are going to fall on our kids and grandkids. That being said, we’ve made some progress and have fundamentally changed the conversation in Washington.  Since being elected to Congress in 2010, we’ve enacted the most significant spending reductions in modern history – even more so than under President Reagan.  And discretionary spending has been cut four years in a row, which hasn’t happened since the Korean War.

But more must be done.  Washington has a responsibility to spend your tax dollars as carefully as you would.  After all, it’s your money.

I believe the first step is prioritizing our spending and deciding what is truly important to hardworking Americans.  Across the board cuts are both inefficient and irresponsible.  I believe we need to do a thorough audit.  Go line by line, dollar by dollar, through the budget.  Keep what works; cut what’s waste.

We also need to hold Congress accountable, which is best done through a balanced budget amendment.  I’ve co-sponsored legislation to require Congress to balance the budget, just like we do in South Dakota, and have been vocal about drafting budgets that put us on the path to a balanced budget. 

It’s time we get our spending in check and stop spending our children’s future away. 

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