Feedback from the community is perhaps the most important thing for any member of Congress. I'd like to thank Joe Campbell for his letter of Feb. 25 ("Questions for Congressman Schweikert," AFN).

Last week, I held a Budget Town Hall at the Scottsdale Civic Center. More than 100 people showed up for an hour presentation that identified the crushing scale of the national debt. The numbers are stunning, and to many in our community, unfathomable.

To balance the budget - matching today's revenues with our obligations, Congress would need to eliminate: all defense spending; all discretionary spending; and still require over $100 billion in entitlement cuts.

It is time that our fellow citizens took their commitments and means as a society seriously. Thomas Jefferson wrote in detail of the generational tyranny, when one generation saddled another with unsustainable debts. Today we find ourselves in just that level of predicament.

Republican leaders in Congress are acting decisively, yet Senate Democrats have blockaded progress. This is exactly the type of silliness that will keep us from taking on the truly daunting task of dealing with our budget crisis.

A few points though, as we move forward. Campbell's concerns are valid, and that is why leaders in Congress must make tough decisions while preserving America's economic liberty.

I remain committed, as I have always been, to protecting seniors and ensuring that Social Security benefits are protected. We will continue to find ways to streamline federal spending, find common sense areas to cut, protect taxpayers, and hold Washington accountable to the people. That is why I am leading the fight to cut congressional pay and reduce the dollars reserved for congressional offices. And, through my Single Subject Bill, I have followed the lead of Arizona and brought new standards limiting the relationship between legislators and lobbyists.

America has always been the land of opportunity. As our government takes on the challenges of the next century, we have a choice. Unsustainable, runaway government spending. Or, a free enterprise system that creates jobs and invests capital in the future of tomorrow.

Together, we can solve the budget crisis. But, it means an end to the partisan rancor that is keeping us from unleashing America's entrepreneurial spirit from the grips of economy that deserves better than Washington.

I would like to invite anyone who is interested to visit to view the budget presentation.

Congressman David Schweikert

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