Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said Thursday on "Your World" that she helped balance the budget as the governor of South Carolina and she can do it again as president. 

NIKKI HALEY: Look, I think Biden is the ultimate socialist president. He loves to spend everybody else's money. His answer to everything is to increase taxes. And I think we need to be realistic. We're $31 trillion in debt. I think we're borrowing money to make our interest payments. This is not sustainable. The problem is Washington, D.C. has a spending problem, and we need to put them on a diet and put an end to it. I did this in South Carolina. We need to do it for the country. 

The first thing Biden should have done is said, "We're going to claw back the $500 billion of unspent COVID money." The second thing he should have said is, rather than the IRS agents going after innocent Americans, go back and go after the $100 billion of COVID fraud that happened along the way. We need to make sure we get on Republicans and Democrats because they both opened back up earmarks. This is not the time for them to be spending $2 billion on counties that don't exist and don't have government structures. 

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy at the Cuyahoga Community College Metropolitan Campus, Thursday, May 27, 2021, in Cleveland.  ((AP Photo/Evan Vucci))

So if we're talking about entitlement reform, the first thing we do is, look, I have parents in their 80s. We take care of them. I don't want anything to hurt the seniors or anyone that's getting ready to retire. But I have kids in their 20s, those are the ones that need to go and know that things are going to be changed. So what you would do is for those in their 20s coming into the system, we would change the retirement age so that it matches life expectancy. 

The second thing we would do is we would limit benefits for the wealthy. Then you go further instead of cost of living increases do increases based on inflation. That's something Republicans and Democrats would agree with. And then more than that, expand Medicare Advantage plan so that we have more competition, and we run the costs down. That's what entitlement reform will look like. That's how you're going to make it sustainable. And that's also how you bring down the cost of what we're seeing right now. 

You keep your promises to those that we've made, promises to. Those that have invested in should keep what they have. We shouldn't in any way jeopardize those that are already expecting something. This is about the new group coming in. 

It's the new ones coming in. It's those in their twenties that are coming in. You're coming to them and you're saying the game has changed. We're going to do this completely differently. That's how you go and you focus on it. We've got to start doing things like that. But more than that, we have to look at the fact that there is a spending problem in DC and Republicans and Democrats have done this to us, Neil. Don't forget that when this all started, with the Republicans, they passed a $2.2 trillion COVID stimulus package 419-6 in the House and 96 to 0 in the Senate that expanded welfare. Now we have 90 million people on Medicaid. You've got 42 million people on food stamps. We should be taking people from welfare to work.


We shouldn't be paying people to sit on the couch and adding to the rolls of welfare. It was under Republicans' watch. They opened up earmarks again. Why are we spending on pork projects when one in six Americans can't pay their utility bill? We should stop borrowing. We don't have endless credit cards in our households or our businesses. Why are we allowing that to happen? And we should make sure that they understand that you should not pass a spending bill that doesn't take us back to pre-COVID levels. This is going to have to be harsh. It's going to take a president that is going to call out Republicans and Democrats. I did that as governor. I'll do it again as president.