State of Nebraska Archives: on Budget & Economy


Shane Osborn: Nation can grow out of fiscal woes by expanding the economy

The Republican candidates gave a glimpse during the first debate of the campaign of their plans to get the federal budget under control. Ben Sasse says entitlement reform is the only way to achieve fiscal stability. Shane Osborn says the nation can grow its way out of its fiscal woes by expanding the economy.

The candidates were asked how they would work with Democrats to reduce the deficit. Sasse said both Democrats and Republicans in Washington have to understand that much of the nation's debt is the result of the growth in entitlements. However, Sasse did not say what entitlements he would cut or how he would go about changing Social Security and Medicare. "We're guilty of generational theft," said Sasse, president of Midland University in Fremont.

Osborn also indicated that he would support entitlement changes, but he did not give any specifics. "We have to grow the economy. It's the only true way out of it," said Osborn, a former Navy pilot and former state treasurer.

Source: Omaha World-Herald on 2014 Nebraska Senate debate Jan 29, 2014

Dave Heineman: Use $1.2 billion in cash reserves to reduce over-taxation

The State of Nebraska has $1.2 billion in cash in its checking and savings accounts. That's right. As I stand before you today, the State of Nebraska has $1.2 billion in cash. Nebraska is over-taxing its citizens right now, and we need to change that. Our choices are clear. We can sit back, do nothing and put Nebraska's economic future at risk or we can act and secure a better tomorrow for Nebraska.
Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Nebraska legislature Jan 15, 2014

Shane Osborn: Combat spending instead of kicking the can down the road

Shane Osborn says he opposes this week's bipartisan budget plan, suggesting it "will only continue to pile on debt and further hinder economic recovery."

"With a national debt of more than $16 trillion and current spending levels that are utterly unsustainable, the time to address the federal budget crisis is now," Osborn said in a news release. "Once again, Washington is kicking the can down the road rather than getting serious about combating spending," he said.

Source: Lincoln Journal Star on 2014 Nebraska Senate race Dec 12, 2013

Ben Sasse: Reform entitlement programs & live within our means

Government should be promoting prosperity, protecting property, and practicing frugality, rather than spawning dependency, redistributing wealth, and spending recklessly. What does this mean?
Source: 2014 Senate campaign website, SasseForNebraska.com, "Issues" Nov 14, 2013

Bob Kerrey: We balanced the budget in the 1990s without an amendment

KERREY: Senator Fischer's plan would take spending [down] to 18% of GDP. That would at least double and maybe even triple unemployment as a consequence of the cuts that would be required by that amendment. We don't need a constitutional amendment. We balanced the budget in the 1990s by making difficult decisions, many of which Senator Fischer now objects to. But it got the job done. We balanced the budget; we were paying off debt. But to impose a constitutional amendment would be devastating to the state of Nebraska.

FISCHER: I support a balanced budget amendment. Here in Nebraska we balance the budget every year. It's required by the [Nebraska] constitution. We need to do that at the federal level as well. Any time that you don't have controls on Congress, on spending, on politicians, they will spend every dime that they can get their hands on. We need to make the tough decisions, we need to control spending, that's how we can move this country forward.

Source: 2012 Nebraska Senate debate excerpts Sep 28, 2012

Bob Kerrey: Balanced budget amendment would double NE unemployment

Kerrey all but ridiculed Fischer's backing of a balanced-budget amendment to address the nation's debt, saying such an approach was overly simplistic. "I've looked at your plan," Kerrey said. "Your balanced budget amendment would double unemployment in this state. It's a fact. This is not me exaggerating here."

Fischer shot back that without controls on congressional spending, politicians "will spend every dime they can get their hands on," adding that Nebraska has a constitutional requirement to balance its budget every year.

"First of all, you balanced the budget in 2009 and 2010 with Nebraska's share of federal stimulus money," Kerrey retorted. "That was the second highest use of stimulus money to balance the budget of any state in the nation. The federal government would not have that flexibility under the Fischer plan, under her constitutional amendment."

Source: Beatrice Daily Sun on 2012 Nebraska Senate debate Sep 28, 2012

Deb Fischer: Balanced budget amendment forces tough decisions on cuts

KERREY: Senator Fischer's plan would take spending [down] to 18% of GDP. That would at least double and maybe even triple unemployment as a consequence of the cuts that would be required by that amendment. We don't need a constitutional amendment. We balanced the budget in the 1990s by making difficult decisions, many of which Senator Fischer now objects to. But it got the job done. We balanced the budget; we were paying off debt. But to impose a constitutional amendment would be devastating to the state of Nebraska.

FISCHER: I support a balanced budget amendment. Here in Nebraska we balance the budget every year. It's required by the [Nebraska] constitution. We need to do that at the federal level as well. Any time that you don't have controls on Congress, on spending, on politicians, they will spend every dime that they can get their hands on. We need to make the tough decisions, we need to control spending, that's how we can move this country forward.

Source: 2012 Nebraska Senate debate excerpts Sep 28, 2012

Deb Fischer: Congress spends every dime they can get their hands on

Kerrey all but ridiculed Fischer's backing of a balanced-budget amendment to address the nation's debt, saying such an approach was overly simplistic. "I've looked at your plan," Kerrey said. "Your balanced budget amendment would double unemployment in this state. It's a fact. This is not me exaggerating here."

Fischer shot back that without controls on congressional spending, politicians "will spend every dime they can get their hands on," adding that Nebraska has a constitutional requirement to balance its budget every year.

"First of all, you balanced the budget in 2009 and 2010 with Nebraska's share of federal stimulus money," Kerrey retorted. "That was the second highest use of stimulus money to balance the budget of any state in the nation. The federal government would not have that flexibility under the Fischer plan, under her constitutional amendment."

Source: Beatrice Daily Sun on 2012 Nebraska Senate debate Sep 28, 2012

Mike Johanns: I’m the only candidate who’s actually dealt with the budget

Johanns said, “I’m the only candidate who’s actually dealt with the budget.” He said he also was the only candidate who has worked out bipartisan solutions as an elected official.

Kleeb frequently tried to link Johanns to failed policies in Washington and Lincoln. Kleeb said the only way to change the status quo was to elect new candidates like him. “The greatest risk we have is that nothing will change,” said Kleeb.

Source: 2008 Nebraska Senate debate reported in Omaha World-Herald Sep 16, 2008

Scott Kleeb: Bush & Johanns created current failed policies

Kleeb frequently tried to link Johanns to failed policies in Washington and Lincoln. Kleeb said the only way to change the status quo was to elect new candidates like him. “The greatest risk we have is that nothing will change,” said Kleeb, who blamed the nation’s budget deficit, energy troubles and economic woes on the Bush administration, which once included Johanns.
Source: 2008 Nebraska Senate debate reported in Omaha World-Herald Sep 16, 2008

Mike Johanns: Growing the economy will balance the budget over time

The state of the nation’s economy was an issue. “We need to return to pay-as-you-go spending. Which means what we do in our family budgets everyday and that means not spend more money than we have,” Kleeb said.

“Grow the economy, pull back on spending and good things are going to happen,” Johanns said. “And if you sustain that over a period of time you will not only balance the budget but just as I did as mayor you can actually start to rebuild that.”

Source: [Xref Kleeb] 2008 Nebraska Senate debate Aug 24, 2008

Scott Kleeb: Return to pay-as-you-go spending

The state of the nation’s economy was an issue. “We need to return to pay-as-you-go spending. Which means what we do in our family budgets everyday and that means not spend more money than we have,” Kleeb said.

“Grow the economy, pull back on spending and good things are going to happen,” Johanns said. “And if you sustain that over a period of time you will not only balance the budget but just as I did as mayor you can actually start to rebuild that.”

Source: 2008 Nebraska Senate debate reported in Lincoln News Aug 24, 2008

Scott Kleeb: End pork-barrel spending

Because of unbridled spending, every child born in America today is already saddled with $30,000 of debt. We cannot continue to mortgage our nation’s future and pass off trillions of dollars in debt to our children & grandchildren. Scott Kleeb, a fiscal conservative, believes it is a moral imperative for Washington to stop unchecked deficit spending.
Source: Campaign booklet, Nebraska’s Brand of Change, p. 4 Aug 19, 2008

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