By BILL MARDIS
The new U.S. congressman from the 6th Congressional District continues to hammer at high government spending and insists the $17 trillion national debt must be brought under control.
Andy Barr, speaking Tuesday during the August membership meeting of the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, said years of reckless spending in Washington have compromised the federal government’s ability to fund every priority at the level needed.
“Washington DC is 68 square miles surrounded by reality,” Barr told the chamber group. “What we see in Washington is the American dream slipping away.”
Barr said Congress has delegated much of its power to unelected bureaucrats. “My biggest surprise when I came to Washington was that Congress does not have the input people think it has, or think it should have.”
Currently, only about one-third of the federal budget is controlled by Congress, Barr said. He predicted by 2025 that 100 percent of all federal revenue will be consumed by Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on the national debt.
“The situation threatens to bankrupt our country,” Barr declared. He said Congress must quickly fix entitlement programs like Social Security, not for current recipients but for younger people when they retire.
“Time is of the essence,” Barr cautioned. “If we don’t make changes the government may have to start breaking promises to the people.”
Barr bombarded Obamacare, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The federal law, among other things is supposed to increase quality, affordability and reduce the cost health insurance coverage for all Americans.
Obamacare has done the opposite, Barr contends. He is a co-sponsor of legislation to fully repeal Obamacare which he says would result in significant taxpayer savings.
Barr says Obamacare must be repealed before its runaway costs bury us further. He advocates replacing Obamacare with real reform legislation to contain the spiraling cost of health care.
Government regulations are choking local banks, Barr contends. He said the federal government and its unelected bureaucrats are deciding who gets a loan instead of leaving the decision to local banking officials.
Barr also lambasted what Republican legislators have labeled President Obama’s “War on Coal.” Barr and 5th District Congressman Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, both have said EPA regulations effected by the Obama administration have cost 5,700 jobs in Kentucky’s coal industry during the past year to 18 months.
“It’s all about saving this country and restoring the American dream for our children,” Barr concluded.
Barr is a Lexington attorney who defeated incumbent Ben Chandler for the 6th District seat last year.