"It comes down to leadership," both in Indiana and Washington, said state Sen. Marlin Stutzman, who is the Republican candidate for the U.S. Congress representing northeastern Indiana.
Stutzman visited Goshen Thursday morning in a public forum hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.
Stutzman said it was tough making cuts in the Indiana state budget, in which Gov. Mitch Daniels kept education to the last for cuts.
"It’s tough making cuts, even in education, but we needed to balance the budget," he said, because the state constitution requires it.
"We’re one of only a few states with a balanced budget," Stutzman said.
And it is that leadership in budget-cutting that is required in Washington, he stressed, where he said laws are passed and money is doled out without regard to where the funds will come from.
Stutzman also said the federal government is borrowing without any plan to pay the debt back.
In 1980, the U.S. had a $1 trillion debt. Thirty years later, the national debt is pushing $14 trillion, Stutzman said. "It’s going to hit us," he said, as well as our children.
The main expenses of federal government are Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, he said. The cost of the military is 20 percent of the federal budget but the debt service is 13 percent, he pointed out.
"Leadership can put a stop to it," Stutzman said of the spending. He said leadership in Washington should put a stop to the requests and the spending. He said all federal agencies should cut budgets by 10 percent, as Indiana departments did last year.
"It’s an unprecedented time. We are upside down," Stutzman said. The federal government is trying to be all for everybody, he said. He said the health care and education issues are state issues, not federal ones.