Europe is in its dire fiscal position today because its governments are spending more money than they are taking in, and at the same time they are stifling job growth by placing undue burdens on small businesses.

Thanks to the out-of-control spending spree under Democrats and Republicans, the United States is going down a similar path.

While it is long past time to arrange our fiscal house, it is not too late to take steps. This summer, we hit $16 trillion in debt, with more than $6 trillion of that coming during the Obama administration.

Ann Kirkpatrick helped pile up that debt. In her two years in Congress, she voted for Obamacare and the failed trillion-dollar stimulus package. Kirkpatrick saw this country had a fiscal hole, and she kept digging.

The amount of debt we now share threatens to plunge the U.S. into another recession. If we don't rein in spending immediately, we will permanently erode the middle class.

If I am elected to Congress, I will work immediately to repeal Obamacare, which potentially adds hundreds of billions to our deficit over its first 10 years. We simply cannot afford nor should we tolerate this government overreach into our heath care.

Next, we must introduce stability in our tax code. President Obama is aiming to raise taxes on small businesses, which would destroy jobs here in Arizona. Kirkpatrick agrees with many of those tax increases, as she stated at our most recent debate. I want to give middle-class, working Americans and small businesses the guarantees they need to make long-range plans.

When more people are working, more jobs are created and higher amounts of revenues pour in to the government. Not only do we improve our middle class but we reduce our deficits and begin to pay down the national debt.

I will also work to implement dozens of cost-saving ideas presented by the General Accounting Office and Congressional Budget Office to eliminate waste from the federal budget.

America can rebound from this recession and restore fiscal sanity, but it will take a bipartisan effort to find common ground. I have the experience working with both parties to reform our Child Protective Services system in Arizona and to secure our border. I will bring that same sense of urgency and determination to Congress to reverse our fiscal crisis.

Paton is the Republican candidate for District 1, which includes Marana, Oro Valley and SaddleBrooke.