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Nipping Congress’ Spending Habits In The Bud

If families in North Carolina can set aside money for the things they need, and not run over budget, why can’t Congress do the same? Everywhere I travel to in North Carolina’s Fifth District, I hear the common refrain from hardworking people that Congress has been left off its budgetary leash for far too long. More taxpayer money is being spent without a shred of accountability. To put it simply, the federal government has no problem spending other people’s money.

So, where exactly do we start? Is there a calamine lotion that can help rid Congress of its spending itch? We start by addressing mandatory spending programs, which just last year were estimated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to cost a combined $5.2 trillion – constituting by far the lion share of all federal spending and our operating debt. Many people do not know that two-thirds of all federal spending is allocated to these programs. Bear in mind that curbing the cost estimates for them are few and far between. That lack of accountability is beyond irresponsible, and it’s an insult to the hardworking taxpayers across the 5th District.

Imagine that you’ve left the kitchen sink running for an extended period and the water is now cascading over the edge and on to the floor. That sums up the problem that has bedeviled Congress for far too long. More money is being funneled to these mandatory spending programs, and the faucet has not been turned off for decades. Does that sound like fiscal responsibility to you? I don’t think so – not by a long shot.

To nip this problem in the bud, I’ve introduced the Spending Safeguard Act, a bill that will restore congressional control over mandatory spending increases by establishing program-specific caps for new or reauthorized programs. It’s clear that Congress must take off its rose-colored spending glasses so that a clear-eyed view of budgetary reforms can flourish. The federal government should not be acting like a kid in a candy store when it comes to spending hard-earned taxpayer dollars. Ending this corrosive mentality is the first step in restoring fiscal responsibility that has long been absent in the halls of Congress.

Combating wasteful spending should always be one of Congress’ top priorities. Hardworking taxpayers in the 5th District demand it. It may be a new year, but I remain undeterred in fighting for a more accountable, efficient, and responsible federal government. Let me be clear: I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

Published In The Wilkes Record

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