In Nebraska, our economy has remained relatively strong during the national
economic downturn. Buoyed by a stable agricultural economy, small business and manufacturing innovation, economic diversification, and the strength of
character of Nebraskans in making fiscal decisions, our state maintains one
of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and is at or near the top of many national fiscal health surveys. Though not immune to the ill effects
of recession, our state economy is a model of resiliency in the midst of
Many in Washington have pushed corporate bailouts and massive spending packages in the name of national economic recovery. While the federal government has an essential role in preserving the stability of our economic system, this approach has further entangled big government and big business, subsidized poor governance choices, and left everyday Americans holding the bill. Prudent economic policies should be grounded in the reality that the Main Street entrepreneur -- not the Washington or Wall Street insider -- will best bring about lasting economic recovery.
We should promote economic opportunity and stability by encouraging small
business entrepreneurship within strong local economies, providing critical
oversight of Wall Street and institutions considered "too big to fail," and,
most importantly, controlling government spending. As a member of the
Agriculture and Oversight and Government Reform Committees, I have specifically promoted agricultural entrepreneurship in new food markets and renewable energy opportunities, as well as advocated increased scrutiny of speculation in commodity markets to reduce market volatility.
I have also long promoted structural budgetary reforms, including a balanced
budget requirement, the presidential line-item veto, and a biennium budgeting plan, to stop government over spending and bring discipline to the federal budgeting process.
The federal budget has nearly doubled in ten years, and blame spans the
political spectrum. Nearly one-third of each federal dollar is borrowed. This
pattern threatens long-term economic security. Decisions about slowing
governmental spending and prudential tax policy are not easy. All must be
willing to bear this burden. The vitality of our country is at stake.