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Deficit Reduction Requires an End to Business As Usual

By: Senator John Thune

July 30, 2010

Recently I was asked what the single most important thing that I, as an elected official, could do for the citizens of South Dakota. Of all the challenges our country currently faces, I believe that tackling our nation's exploding $13 trillion debt is the top priority for people in our state and elsewhere. Because spending in Washington continues to spin out of control, every child in South Dakota under the age of 18 owes our creditors $114,000-that's their share of the national debt.

With this staggering number in mind, I recently introduced common sense legislation that is a meaningful step toward reducing the deficit and changing the way that Congress addresses its budget. The three-pronged approach of the Deficit Reduction and Budget Reform Act of 2010 would impose strict new limits on federal spending, reform the budget process, and create a new standing committee of Congress for deficit reduction. The new permanent committee would be tasked with reducing the deficit through spending cuts, not tax increases. Congress currently has 26 committees and subcommittees dedicated to spending money; I believe we ought to have at least one committee tasked with cutting spending.

While the legislation isn't a silver bullet that will fix all of our fiscal problems overnight, it is a crucial first step in getting America's economy back on the road to recovery.

It's been said that, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Congress cannot continue to spend and operate under business as usual. For our nation's future and in the interests of future generations in South Dakota and across the country, the federal government must change the way it does business.