Our total debt as a nation recently topped $16 trillion, which is over $50,000 per every man, woman, and child in America. This debt per person is a greater amount than Greece, Italy, Spain or Portugal.

The first step to ensuring we do not end up where Europe is today - with extremely high taxes, low growth, skyrocketing unemployment and resulting civil unrest - is to admit we have a problem. It is irresponsible for us to continue to borrow 40 cents on every dollar we spend, becoming indebted to countries including China and risking the future of our children.

We are in this situation because Congress and the federal government have been more concerned about their next election than the next generation. We have a failure of leadership. Washington lacks selfless leaders who are willing to sit down together and solve these complex problems we are facing today in order to get our nation back on track.

I am committed to pragmatic solutions that lead to economic growth, put people back to work, demonstrate fiscal discipline and decrease our debt.

1. I support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution to require Congress to match revenues with spending unless in a time of crisis.

2. We must grow our economy and get people back to work, which will lead to more revenue. Congress must take uncertainty out of the economic environment and stop "kicking the can" on many issues related to taxes, spending and government mandates, which disincentivize hiring, investing and growth.

3. We need thoughtful solutions to bring the cost of health care down so it does not bankrupt middle-class families or our country.

4. We must strengthen and secure Medicare and Social Security for current seniors and future generations. I will not support the $716 billion cut to Medicare used to pay for the president's health-care program.

5. We need to just say "no" once in a while - "no" to things like the $821 billion stimulus plan that borrowed, wasted and spent our children's future away.

6. I will work to shrink the federal bureaucracy by streamlining redundant programs and initiatives.

Democrats, Republicans and independents all agree that our nation is on the wrong path and the growing debt is risking our future. I will bring needed leadership, guts, education and a results-driven mind-set to work in a bipartisan way to tackle the debt with thoughtful solutions.

McSally is the Republican candidate in District 2, which includes much of Tucson plus Vail, Green Valley, Sahuarita and southeastern Arizona.