Editor’s note: Candidates for the 3rd Congressional District seat include 17 Republicans, six Democrats, two Libertarians and one with the Constitution Party. Primary elections will be held on April 30. The questionnaires are printed in the candidate’s words as submitted, edited only for length. One of several questions answered has been printed here, and candidates were given a 150 word limit. Republican candidates Graham Boyd, Chimer Davis and Donald Cox and Democratic candidate Gregory Humphrey did not respond with answers to the questions. Constitution Party candidate Greg Holt does not have a primary, and his questionnaire can be found online. To read the full, unedited questionnaire filled out by candidates visit JDNews.com, NewBernSJ.com or Kinston.com.
Question: Is reducing the national deficit important to you? How would you balance the budget?
Kevin Baiko: "Yes. We should start by eliminating all debts held by the Federal Reserve and then we need to cut spending. Eliminate federal agencies and programs not specifically mentioned in the Constitution whose responsibilities are better left to the States, communities and individuals to manage, (including the Depts. of Energy, Interior, Commerce, Education, and HUD)."
Paul Beaumont: "Reducing the national deficit is critical to the security of our children and our grandchildren. I am in favor of a balanced budget amendment. I believe the budget can be balanced through evaluation and elimination of expenditures not in the best interest of the safety and security of the United States."
Celeste Cairns: "As a CPA, I believe the national deficit is one of the greatest threats facing future generations and if it is not immediately resolved by Congress, we will bankrupt our future generations. It is scandalous that we are effectively signing our children and grandchildrens’ names to debt agreements every day. To balance the budget, I will be laser-focused on scaling back entitlement programs, starting with eliminating wreckless fraud and waste. I will also work to cut all federal funding to organizations such as Planned Parenthood that use taxpayer dollars to promote the murder of defenseless babies. I will be fierce in my opposition against Alexandria Ostacio-Cortez from passing policies like Medicare-for-All and the Green New Deal that would cost taxpayers trillions of dollars and destroy capitalism as we know it."
Gary Ceres: "I support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. In addition, I support a top to bottom review of all federal programs to identify and eliminate duplicate, unnecessary and ineffective government programs."
Phil Law: "Reducing the national debt is a critical issue and if left unsolved will eventually collapse the currency and then subsequently the economy as bond yields blow out and liquidity freezes. However long before that foreign entities holding our debt can use the threat of dumping it on the market as leverage against us as seems to happen quite often now.
The Democratic solution in terms of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) where debts don't matter as they spend into oblivion is suicidal and will result in hyper inflation similar to the Weimar Republic almost a hundred years ago or Yugoslavia in the 1990s. They are foolish to think this can work.
The debt is reduced by spending less than is brought in and slowly paying it down. The first place to stop spending is cutting off social programs for illegals that should not be in this country."
Francis De Luca: "We have RECORD revenue, we have to control spending."
Jeffrey Moore: "Reducing the national deficit is incredibly important to me as the debt is reaching levels that risk threats to our national security. That's why I have signed the Reduce the Spending pledge. I would vote for legislation like the 'Penny Plan,' cutting one penny out of every dollar of spending each year until the budget is balanced. We must make the hard decisions to reform our entitlement programs to make sure we fulfill our commitment to current and near-term recipients, while restructuring expectations for younger generations as we seek to meaningfully reduce our unfunded liabilities. Racking up debts to be paid by our children and grandchildren is not just unfair, it will eventually tear at the fabric of our society and it must be tackled with ingenuity and resolve if we are to protect our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for current and future generations."
Greg Murphy: "Our growing national debt is the silent crisis that is choking our country and no one is being serious about it. We are bankrupting our children and grandchildren’s future. We give away BILLIONS every year to countries that do not respect us and some actually seek to destroy us. Those monies need to be cut first. We have many programs in government that are bloating and need to be cut."
Michelle Nix: "Yes, reducing the national deficit is very important to me. I would work to balance the budget by reducing the size and scope of government. I would look for cuts in entitlements, pork-barrel spending, and inflated bureaucracies."
Mike Payment: "Our national budget is out of control and some of the elected officials must think it is Rocket science because they have no clue. This is very important to me and as a business owner I understand the importance of maintaining a budget. I will be the one who will stand up and speak out against sending money overseas and adding the fat to bills just so a special interest group gets what they want. This has to stop now or the budget will never decrease. Tax payers work hard for their money and I understand this. I will respect our tax dollars and as a Conservative, will stop wasteful spending."
Joan Perry: "Washington has a lot of problems, but one of its biggest is the runaway, unaccountable spending which neither party seems serious about solving. One of my top concerns for this country is the $22 trillion debt, which grows higher every day and jeopardizes the future for our children and grandchildren. I support a balanced budget amendment to our constitution to force Washington politicians to live within their means like families and businesses here."
Eric Rouse: "The balance budget amendment is critical to ensuring preventing further debt from piling up. Next, we can tackle entitlement reform and ensure that money isn’t being wasted. I would also help take on the socialist radical agenda that would cost billions that we could never afford."
Phil Shepard: "Yes, it is important to me, and I would vote for a balanced budget amendment. I would look for fat within the budget to eliminate and no longer send foreign aid to countries that are not our allies. I also would support public assistance programs that require people to work if they are physically capable."
Michael Speciale: "Reducing the national deficit is imperative for our economic survival as a nation. I will submit a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, I will not support raising the debt ceiling, and I will support cutting spending by stopping support of countries that do not support us, and by looking at where we can cut from the budget in order to balance our spending and revenue receipts. I do not support raising taxes."
Richard Bew: "We must reduce the deficit – it is a carried risk that passes the bill to our children and grandchildren. However, it will be a long-term effort, and requires several steps. First, we need to get big money out of politics: it incentivizes wasteful and deficit spending. We have to take back the handouts given to the mega-rich. And we must dramatically increase incentives to recruit, retain, and professionally develop the highest quality congressional staff in order to reduce the influence of lobbyists and corporations."
Ike Johnson: "Yes, there should always be a plan to pay for what we spend."
Dana Outlaw: "The United States is not likely to increase revenue because the people don’t want tax increases. It’s also not realistic for us to make broad expenditure cuts at one time, either. I’m in favor of the “Penny Plan”, which would be an annual 1% cut across most departments of the government. This plan would reduce the overall budget deficit and grow the economy by 4-6%."
Ernest Reeves: "Yes I reserve my answer (s) on this question due to my upcoming debate (s)."
Allen Thomas: "How would you balance the budget? As someone who has run a city, a small business, and sat with Janet to balance our family budget, I feel our current spending levels are out of control. With our national deficit reaching 22 trillion, we need leaders in DC who are mindful of the future fiscal position we are leaving our children and grandchildren in, but who will also work to maintain our obligations to families and seniors. I believe we best balance the budget by adopting a better government approach through priority budgeting and returning to equitable tax brackets."
Shannon Bray: "Yes. There are a number of agencies that need to have budgets renewed. We need to ensure that we support our mission ready affairs but at the same time, reduce our deficit and keep our money home. I feel it is better served to make sure our veterans are not homeless as opposed to sending money to other countries."
Tim Harris: "It is vital that we reduce spending and the national debt. Both are nation-killers. There are few threats to the long-term vitality and sovereignty of a nation thannational debt. We have to rein in spending. And it starts with the most direct and manageable portion of our budget- defense spending. We are passing $700 billion defense budgets- spending more than the next 7 nations combined- most of whom are steady allies of ours. We simply cannot sustain this level of spending- it will bankrupt this nation. I will fight line by line in every budget to balance our budgets, reduce our spending and fight for rational force restructuring for a new era. We cannot afford to police the world. We do not have enough money. Walter Jones lost a committee seat for refusing to expand the debt ceiling and that's the kind of leadership I intend to show in DC."