I recently received another reply from Steve Daines, this one was actually some what informative of his stances, and actions he had taken thus far. I don’t know if this man is influential enough to help get anything done. He is running for the Montana Senate seat being vacated by Max Baucus, who claims to have similair views concerning budgeting:
I have long supported a balanced budget, and I am an advocate of prudent government spending. In 2011, I cosponsored and voted in support of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States. As discussions continue in Congress on the debt limit and other fiscal issues, I will continue working with my colleagues to find a balanced approach that will weigh the need to reduce the debt and deficit with the importance of protecting programs that folks in Montana rely on for our safety and outstanding quality of life. It is critical that we continue to protect Medicare and Social Security to ensure that we keep our promise to seniors.
All I know is as an American, it is my responsibility to call for careful planning, and even more careful spending if I desire to see a better America for my future children. There is no left versus right here, good versus bad, senate versus house. There are ways to responsibly cater to those in true need, while weeding out the scam artists and abusers of government systems. While I personally support a strong military, I also believe that it is best served protecting American interests at home, and helping those in great need like the Phillipines who were recently decimated by the typhoon Haiyan.
Montana has a powerful economy, considering how small our population is, that is part of the reason I relocated here after my military service was over instead of back to Idaho. If you are interested in the kind of future budget Montana as a state is proposing view this link. http://budget.mt.gov/content/execbudgets/2015_Budget/Governor_Bullock_Budget .
Unlike the federal government, Montana state government cannot operate at a deficit. The state constitution requires the Legislature to balance the budget (revenues=spending) every session. In fact, passing a balanced budget is the only constitutionally required duty of the Legislature.
All I know is if we can do it here in Montana, then we can do it for the nation. I urge you all to contact your senators, and congressmen, and demand we balance the budget, and begin to shrink our debt.
Here is my letter for Congressman Daines:
Dear Mr. Periman:
Thank you for contacting me to share your support for balancing the budget. As a 5th generation Montanan who strongly believes balancing the budget is vital to our economy and reflects the commonsense values of the people of our state, please know that we agree on this issue.
As you may know, the federal government is currently borrowing over 30 cents of each dollar spent and our national debt has skyrocketed to over $16.4 trillion. Sadly, we have balanced our annual budget only five times in the last half century. This kind of irresponsible budgeting is unacceptable and harmful to our nation’s future. Importantly, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that federal revenues will exceed historical averages over the next decade as our economy grows, but it also projects that spending will increase at an even greater rate. This means our nation has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.
I believe Congress must examine every federal program and determine whether it is cost-effective, provides unique value (in other words, does not duplicate other federal programs), and is a proper function of the federal government. Further, it is essential that we reform and strengthen our entitlement programs, because CBO indicates that spending on these programs is rising faster than any other federal program and is the core driver of our escalating debt crisis. I believe we can and must strengthen these programs without hurting today’s beneficiaries.
In addition, I believe passing a Balanced Budget Amendment, properly crafted, is vital to ensuring balanced budgets each year. Unfortunately, passing and ratifying such an amendment will likely take considerable time. In the interim, Congress did recently enact legislation requiring the House and Senate to pass a budget or otherwise members would forfeit their pay. I supported this approach as a way to force the Senate to pass a budget, which it has not done in nearly four years. But I believe this pay-for-performance standard should be stronger.
For this reason, I subsequently introduced legislation that would terminate member pay after April 15 if our respective chamber has not passed a budget that would balance the budget within ten years (Fiscal Year 2023). I believe this legislation is a commonsense first step toward ensuring a balanced budget, and I’m pleased that the recently passed House budget would achieve this result. It is my sincere hope that Senate Democrats and President Obama will join the House in committing to the most basic—yet critically important—principle of balancing the budget.
Again, thanks for contacting me. It is my number one priority in Congress to represent the values and interests of the people of Montana, and your input is very helpful as I do. I invite you to visit my website, daines.house.gov, to sign up for periodic email updates on the issues important to you. I won’t flood your email box, but I will provide you with updates once in a while about activities in Washington that affect our lives in Montana. I hope you will sign up so that we can stay in close touch, and I look forward to hearing from you again in the future.
Member of Congress