Opinion Pieces

The Spending Ways of Washington

by Rep. Patrick McHenry

It’s no secret that Washington is spending our tax dollars at a pace never seen before in this country.  Now, it is true that in a recession spending can be used as a tool to help stimulate the economy.  Just as tax incentives can be used to encourage job creation.

Targeted spending on infrastructure projects like roads, bridges and broadband deployment can create jobs and have a lasting impact on our economy.  Unfortunately, less than 5 percent of the stimulus bill funded these kinds of projects.

In an economic downturn, government can help families weather the storm by extended benefits for jobless workers, for example.  This is something I have repeatedly supported, often against my own political party.

However, Washington has become so addicted to spending that it is jeopardizing the long-term economic security of all Americans.  After all, the politicians aren’t spending their money.  They’re spending your tax dollars.

Irresponsible spending has plagued Washington for many years, but it has never been worse than it is now.  However, I was encouraged that last week President Obama called for some fiscal discipline.  He asked his Cabinet members to identify $100 million in combined savings from their departments.

As the national debt continues to spiral out of control, I hope President Obama will work in a bipartisan way to reform the careless way in which Washington spends your tax dollars.  Working together, we can rebuild our economy without large tax increases.

PATRICK McHENRY is a congressman representing North Carolina's 10th District.

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