I landed my first real job as a paper boy when I was 11. I quickly learned that I should not spend all of my money and that I needed to save for the things that I wanted. Today, people call that being fiscally conservative, but I just call it common sense. Somehow, government often seems to play by different rules. I don't believe that it should. The national debt is currently over $19.5 trillion and counting. Fortunately, the Idaho Constitution requires a balanced budget; but even so, taxes must be reasonable, and funds must be wisely spent.
In my 10 years as a legislator, I have opposed excessive spending, special tax breaks, and burdensome regulations. I sponsored successful bills to make public officials more accountable for use of public funds, to stop tax funding of political parties, and to restore citizens' rights to unclaimed property instead of letting the state keep it. I have also sponsored bills to repeal the tax on groceries and to create an inspector general to investigate citizen complaints of government abuse and waste. While the latter bills have not yet been successful, I will continue working on them and other ways to keep government accountable to the people.
Excessive taxes and regulations stifle economic growth. Prudent fiscal and regulatory policies have enabled Idaho to enjoy a steady recovery from the recession, and now enjoy a growing economy while other states struggle. I will continue to work on simplifying our taxes, being fiscally responsible in spending policies, and also looking for more efficiencies in government.