Fiscal Responsibility: Taking Care of Future Generations 

Fiscal responsibility is essential to create a better, stronger, more prosperous nation for the next generation. The choices we make today -- or fail to make -- will determine what kind of future our children and grandchildren inherit 20 and 40 years from now.

I have four children. I don’t want our generation to create a huge mess for our children or grandchildren. I want to do what my parents did for me: set the stage for my kids and grandkids to have a great future.

Crafting a budget for the federal government is a fundamental duty of the U.S. Congress. Just like a family’s budget, the federal budget is a reflection of our values and priorities. And just like a family budget, we must 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, security, support for small businesses, and improvements to our infrastructure. 

I believe that it is the responsibility of our elected leaders to be honest about how legislative measures will impact their constituents. The tax bill that was signed by the President in December 2017 and supported by Representative Huizenga permanently slashed taxes for corporations and the richest Americans, while adding more than a trillion dollars to our national debt, and increasing the tax burden on regular, hard-working families.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal deficit will reach $960 billion for the 2019 fiscal year, and $1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year. Typically, the budget deficit shrinks when unemployment is low – however, this administration has defied that trend. Additionally, the Trump tax cuts have not come close to paying for themselves via faster economic growth, as Republicans promised they would. 

This is the definition of fiscal irresponsibility. The federal deficit is out of control during a time of strong economic growth, and we need to be honest about getting it back on track. 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. Proposed cuts to medicare, medicaid and social security should not be the means by which we are financing tax cuts for the wealthy.

I believe that more due diligence on this nation’s biggest discretionary budget item is required. Total U.S. military spending for FY 2020 is $989 billion, including the Department of Defense (DoD) budget and the amount we spend on wars - greater than those of the next 10 largest spenders combined. This huge expense must be reduced if the deficit is to be cut in any meaningful way.

I will protect our veterans and those on active duty from mismanagement and insider deals. The results of a recent effort by 1,200 outside accountants and analysts to audit the spending of DoD demonstrated that there are serious gaps in financial controls – they failed the audit.  And I believe that the coziness between defense lobbyists, Congress, and the Pentagon tilts countless decisions away from legitimate national security interest. Part of this problem is the revolving door where former government officials become lobbyists and use their relationships and access to influence our country’s national security apparatus to secure lucrative contracts and boost profits.   

You wouldn’t run your family or company’s finances this way, and we shouldn’t run the country this way. Too much is at stake.

My priorities:

  • Have an honest national discussion about the federal deficit and work towards a balanced budget.

  • Streamline the tax code to make sure everyone pays their fair share and eliminate tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy.  

  • Stop special interests from dictating our personal and national security and implement new policies to close the revolving door.