The federal government must learn to live within its means. We must immediately balance the overly bloated federal budget and actively work to reduce our trade deficit. As a longtime business owner, I've had to keep a close eye on the bottom line of my businesses to make sure employees and vendors are paid on time. Government should operate under this same basic standard. We cannot spend money we do not have! Regularly raising the debt ceiling is not a long-term solution. Government must provide for the essential responsibilities of national defense, maintenance of federal highways, preservation of Social Security, and welfare programs for our neediest citizens. In addition to these core functions, most government functions are performed more efficiently at the state and local level.
JOBS / ECONOMY
Job creation and job retention are key elements in getting our stagnant economy moving again. Employers don't invest in new businesses or expand existing ones when taxes are high and the federal government saddles them with costly unfunded mandates and burdensome regulations. Congress is not a direct job creator. However, the federal government can and should play a critical role in creating a business climate where employers are willing to invest in business expansion, startups are encouraged, and invasive regulations are kept to a minimum.
I believe decisions about educating our children are best made at the local and state level, not by the federal Department of Education. Innovative programs like merit pay for our best teachers should be further explored and developed. Voucher programs and charter schools have shown positive results and should be expanded dramatically.
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
The federal government should not force states into unfunded mandates like the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Such top-down legislation by the federal government has many unintended consequences and places a tremendous burden on the businesses and employers that drive our economy. Managing health policy at the state level would help mitigate fraud and abuse while ensuring each state develops programs that best meet the needs of its residents. A holistic approach does not work for an issue as complex as health insurance. Reforms are necessary. However, the ACA is far overreaching, expensive, and harmful to our fragile economy.
As one of the most fundamental responsibilities of the federal government, a strong national defense is critical to the freedom and quality of life of all Americans. Our borders must remain secure, and we must always be aware of the increasing threat from those who seek to do us harm both at home and abroad. We must exercise great care in determining all necessary foreign policy interventions, especially when there is no imminent threat to the United States or American citizens. We can remain a strong, assertive, and respected world leader without being seen as the "policeman of the world".
NEVADA COURT FORFEITURES
Nevada was hit harder than any state in the nation by the foreclosure crisis that began in 2008 and continues today. We must ensure that Nevada receives the attention we deserve from any federal government program that seeks to address this ongoing situation. Banks have dramatically changed their lending practices as a result of this ongoing recession, and rightly so, as their lax lending practices were certainly a factor in causing the foreclosure crisis. The federal government oversees our nation's banking system and thus must ensure that banks lend to qualified customers and not go back to the adjustable rate mortgages that contributed to so many foreclosures in Nevada.
NEVADA AS A DONOR STATE
Nevada pays more to the federal government than we receive in return for services. I will fight to get back more of OUR MONEY. Nevada has been a "donor state" for far too long. We have vital services that need our resources, and Nevada can better decide how to spend OUR MONEY than can the federal government.