Remarkably, Indiana is one of the few states in the country that does not have a balanced budget requirement in its constitution. It is a tribute to the public servants in this room that Indiana has adhered to that practice in recent years even though it is not required.
A balanced budget requirement in the Constitution will assure Hoosiers that today and tomorrow Indiana will spend wisely, protect our state from an economic downturn, and unlike Washington, D.C., we won't bury our children and grandchildren under mountains of debt.
I call on this General Assembly to begin the process of adding a balanced budget amendment to the Indiana Constitution in this session and send this historic reform to the people of Indiana.
Q: Do you support increased state funding for job-training programs that re-train displaced workers?
Q: Do you support expanding access to unemployment benefits?
Q: Do you support providing financial incentives to the private sector for the purpose of job creation?
Q: Should Indiana prohibit union membership & dues being a condition of employment (right-to-work laws)?
Coats said voters are unhappy with federal government, and he accuses Ellsworth of being lockstep with his party leaders. "Clearly, a lot of Hoosiers are not happy with what's come out of Washington these last two years. 90% of what's come out has been supported by my opponent," Coats said. "There's a lot of enthusiasm for change in Washington."
Ellsworth said Coats' claim that he has voted in line with Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 90% of the time is misleading He said those votes could include anything from naming a post office to honoring a sports team. "I have one of the most independent voting records in Congress, and I had a more conservative voting record than four Republicans," Ellsworth said.
Coats battled back, saying that it was his law firm--not him personally--who represented clients on those issues. He pointed instead at Ellsworth, saying that the Democrat's votes for the bailout, health care law and stimulus bill put the country in almost insurmountable debt. "I can understand that someone who went to Washington talking like a conservative here at home--but followed the agenda of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama nearly 90% of the time--would not want to come home and talk about that," Coats said.
President Barack Obama's "summer of recovery" has been anything but, Coats said. Coats lambasted Democrats for spending at a pace that's unsustainable and piling up debt the nation cannot pay back. "There has to be a commitment to no new spending without it being offset and paid for," said Coats. "No more swiping the credit card and pumping and using debt to finance new spending."
This election, Coats said, needs to be relative to restoring the economy for future generations.
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