I think that it is fair to say that we as a nation are going broke, and if we do not take drastic measures in the near future, we will be a completely broken country. Our national debt has gotten absolutely ridiculous, and must become the top policy priority soon.
Yes, I believe that balancing the federal budget should be a top policy priority. While there are a few critics of the current administration that say that a balanced budget is next to impossible with Obama in charge, these critics don't understand that in order to balance the budget, there must be substantive cuts to many programs that the government currently supports. It is hypocritical that these same pundits criticize the administration for cutting programs in the hopes of balancing the budget, which is extremely counterproductive and curries favor even further against Obama.
This is one of the most basic tasks that Washington is asked to do and it's reached such a point of emphatic uselessness that not only can it not accomplish it, it can't even come close. This shouldn't have to be a top priority because it's not supposed to be this hard, but with even the smallest tasks being insurmountable in Washington prioritizing it is needed.
It's the reason we're in the mess we're in. Big government. Big government being involved in money is never good. Government should be limited to military and defense. There should be handling of money but it should be a secondary. Government's main job is to protect its citizens from harm
While it's important to be fiscally responsible, social responsibility comes first. If we don't cut spending properly, then the cuts we do won't work out and we'll have to make for errors in the future.
Also, we should be managing a budget surplus, not a balanced budget. Debt needs to be paid off. When it lingers, it doesn't leave breathing room for emergencies.