by Rachael Mockalis

David Perdue, the junior U.S. senator from Georgia, came to Columbus State University August 8, 2016 to speak at CSU’s monthly leadership breakfast conference.

Perdue won his first senatorial race in 2014 after campaigning for a “change in direction [in Washington].” He and his supporters believe that his experience as the chief executive officer of companies like Reebok and Dollar General give him valuable insight and a different perspective on congressional matters. Perdue now serves on five committees, including the Foreign Relations Committee, The Special Committee on Aging and the Budget Committee.

Perdue spoke extensively about the government’s budgeting problems and how to fix them. Last year he worked on balancing the government’s budget, and looked at corporations and other countries to see how they managed their finances.

“We came back to just a few guiding principles,” Perdue said. “One is that the budget needs to be a law. Two, everything you spend needs to be on the budget…and third, if you don’t get it done there have to be consequences.” Perdue also said the government’s current budgeting method had only resulted in a balance a few times since it was instated, and is unlikely to ever work again. This means the government has spent more money than it has collected from tax revenue every year since 2001.

“The people who really should be most upset about the financial catastrophe I’m trying to describe are people eighteen years old,” said Perdue. He said that the people this “economic malaise” strikes hardest are college graduates. For this reason, he mentioned the importance of students getting involved with and educating themselves about the realm of politics. He especially emphasized the importance of learning about differing opinions. “My father told me when I was in high school…if you’re conservative, read someone you trust who’s a liberal. And if you become liberal, read somebody who’s conservative.”

Being informed is an important part of being politically active, especially during an election season. On the subject of the current race, Perdue voiced his opinion that Donald Trump was the better presidential candidate. According to Perdue, people need to “get off talking about the cons [of Trump] because that’s a distraction. Focus on the failures of this administration and Hillary Clinton.” Perdue also believes that the polls showing Clinton as the overwhelmingly favored candidate are mistaken and mentioned that the polls during his own senatorial race were incorrect.

When asked for his opinion on Georgia’s recent Campus Carry bill, which would have allowed students to carry firearms on Georgia campuses had Gov. Nathan Deal not vetoed it, Sen. Perdue bolstered his support for the Second Amendment. “[The Second Amendment] is a paramount right given to us in the Constitution that cannot be toyed with,” Perdue said. He also mentioned his work to preserve the Second Amendment on a federal level, specifically to make sure the judiciary doesn’t start encroaching on those rights.

Senator Perdue returns to Washington in September.