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SD U.S. Senate Candidates Debate Debt

August 29, 2014, 4:35 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

SD U.S. Senate Candidates Debate Debt

At the Freedom Stage on the South Dakota State Fairgrounds former South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds, Democrat Rick Weiland and independents Larry Pressler and Gordon Howie talked about what it will take to free the country from debt and spending if they are elected as the next U.S. Senator.

“We cannot spend that much money around the world on military spending. We need to have military reform and strategic reform,” former Senator Larry Pressler (I) said

Pressler, who is running as an independent, wants to reduce military spending.

“Most of the fighting in the Middle East is being done with United States weapons that were left behind. This is absurd. Our military industrial state is much too strong,” Pressler said.

“We balanced our budget every single year in South Dakota. We ought to be doing the same in Washington D.C.,” former Republican Governor Mike Rounds said.

Previous Coverage: SD Senate Candidates Fire Away In First Debate

Rounds believes Congress should have a requirement to balance its budget every year like South Dakota does.

But Rounds was challenged on that point by his opponents.

“We hear talk about balanced budgets in the state of South Dakota and we hear it from Mike who left the state with a $127 million deficit,” former state lawmaker Gordon Howie (I) said.

“Governor Daugaard was Governor Rounds’ lieutenant governor and he brags about fixing a $127 million structural deficit. Mike Rounds brags about balancing the budget. Who’s in charge?” Rick Weiland (D) said.

“I believe it’s time we cut spending. We reduce our debt and we stop government growth and I don’t just say that my record shows I believe it,” Howie said.

Democrat Rick Weiland pointed out that Rounds balanced the budget with stimulus dollars.

“A lot of it came from the federal government and from the Obama stimulus program, as awful as they want to say that was that’s how they balanced the budget,” Weiland said.

“If we didn’t use them to continue to fund our schools, to continue to fund the Medicaid program here’s what happens; it goes to another state. Every governor in the United States took the resources because they know they didn’t want it to go someplace else,” Rounds said.

Rounds also added that he would like to cut the U.S. Department of Education in an effort to reduce federal spending.

All four candidates are scheduled to meet again in October when they’ll take part in two televised debates on South Dakota Public Broadcasting and KELOLAND TV.

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