GREEN BAY — Wisconsin primary Senate candidates are looking for your vote to move on to the general election. And the top issue for each candidate is finding a way to balance the federal budget.
The White House is now projecting a 2012 federal budget deficit at $1.2 trillion. The fourth year in a row of trillion dollar-plus deficits is adding fuel to the Republicans fire that change is needed in Washington.
"That's the number one responsibility is to pass a balanced budget. Let's get it done," said Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson.
"This is the essence of this race in my opinion," added fellow Republican candidate Mark Neumann.
All four Republican candidates in the race for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin are making their case to be involved in that change in Washington. The each took part answering issue questions during a recent debate at WTAQ radio in Bellevue.
"We need to bring down the trillion dollars in spending President Obama has passed on to us," said candidate Eric Hovde.
"You have to have a cap on spending. That's the real thing that we need to look at," said candidate Jeff Fitzgerald.
Each candidate is looking to challenge Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin for the open Senate seat. And they each place "balancing the federal budget" as a key to this race.
Three of the candidates-Fitzgerald, Hovde and Thompson- endorse the budget plan introduced by Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, (R – WI 1st District).
Keys to Ryan's plan call for cuts in non-discretionary spending to 2008 levels, reforming the tax code, lowering the corporate tax rate and repealing the Affordable Care Act. But they each added their own twist for a budget solution.
"I'd ask are there duplications. We have so many agencies in federal government that duplicate what they're doing. We have 47 different agencies involved in job training. We also have to look at pro growth policies, tax reform and deregulation," explained Hovde.
"Number one lets introduce a balanced budget amendment, let's pass Paul Ryan's budget," said Thompson. "Just think if we started with that, a balanced budget amendment, an 18 percent ceiling, 5 percent reduction in every federal agency we would grow out of this and create jobs and opportunity in America like you can't believe."
"I think the elephant in the room is entitlement reform," said Fitzgerald. "That's what we really need to address. The same way as speaker I was able to, myself and Governor Walker, able to look at collective bargaining reform, because we knew as a state it was unsustainable, we have to look at entitlement reform on the national level."
Neumann praised the Ryan plan but came up with his own plan that outlines $1.4 trillion in cuts.
"It also goes the next step," said Neumann. "This is really important. I'm a home builder by trade and most people they buy a house from me they pay off their mortgage on a 30 year basis. So we applied that private sector principle to government and we've laid out how to actually pay off the $16 trillion debt after we get to a balanced budget."
All four candidates say part of their plan to balance the federal budget comes by eliminating the Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama in 2010. The candidates speak out on how they plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare on Tuesday's FOX 11 News at Five.
Copyright 2013 WLUK TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Did you like this article? Vote it up or down! And don't forget to add your comments below!