Appearing on C-Span's Washington Journal call-in program, Congresswoman Kaptur said Congress should focus on creating jobs and eliminating tax preferences for large corporations.
"We need a growth economy. We need jobs in America to have a robust economy that can produce the revenue to pay the bills," she said. By focusing only on discretionary spending, she said, Congress makes meaningful deficit reduction "a mathematical impossibility."
Congresswoman Kaptur, a member of both the Appropriations and Budget committees in the House, said Congress should address the trade deficit and Wall Street conduct. "We are not dealing with trade issues, holding Wall Street accountable, and how to make things in America again.
"Corporate profits are at an all time high, but Congress isn't focused on that. Not the big picture. We're looking at the short end of the telescope."
Kaptur was joined on the program through Skype by students at West Phoenix (Arizona) High School.
On other topics, she said:
* Defense cuts should be on the table in budget negotiations. She repeatedly citing military contracting as an area where cuts could be made.
* A proposal by Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) to pass a defense appropriations bill separately from the rest of the budget "puts them in a special category," which would make it more difficult to pass any measure to prevent a government shutdown.
* A no-fly zone over Libya should be considered, but emphasized engaging other partners in the region to address the political crisis in North Africa.
* U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is desirable, but Afghan security must be sufficient to hold the areas not currently under Taliban control.
* Premium increases on Tricare benefits for retired military personnel should be opposed. "I am not favorable toward scrimping and trying to hurt anyone once they've rotated out of active service."