Fiscal Responsibility and Government
Crafting a budget for the federal government is one of the most fundamental duties of the U.S. Congress. Just like a family’s budget, the federal budget is a reflection of our national values and priorities. And just like a family budget, we must identify the waste to cut in order to spend on the things that are most important to us. I believe we need to rigorously cut waste and excess, while simultaneously making smart investments in health care, education, support for small businesses, and improvements to our infrastructure. I believe that a core tenet of being an elected official is to be upfront about spending decisions, to explain both the benefits and the cuts. For too long, politicians haven’t played it straight.
Solving our country’s debt and deficit issues starts with an efficient and effective government. We need to get rid of government waste, fraud, and abuse. Fiscal responsibility defines my approach to the U.S. federal budget, which is a point of real difference between myself and our representative, Rep. Mike Bishop. For far too long politicians in Washington have taken a harried, stop-gap approach to budgeting, funding the federal government through short continuing resolutions, leaving federal agencies without the necessary tools to efficiently plan their budgets. Unable to compromise and have an honest conversation about budgetary tradeoffs, our elected representatives in Congress have forced multiple government shutdowns in the last decade. I was serving in the Pentagon during the thirteen-day Government shutdown in 2013, a decision that cost the U.S. economy an estimated $20 billion. It is political brinkmanship at its most cynical and I believe it must end.
I believe that it is the responsibility of our elected leaders to be candid about how legislative measures will impact their constituents. The tax bill that was drafted by Rep. Mike Bishop and signed by the President in December 2017 permanently slashed taxes for corporations and the richest Americans, while adding more than a trillion dollars to our national debt. In my mind, that’s the definition of fiscal irresponsibility – giving away permanent tax breaks to corporations without being clear what vital programs will be cut to pay the bill. We should not balance the federal budget on the backs of Middle Class families, seniors, students, or veterans — and the public should be informed about how these new bills will be paid.