Harper Calls Stimulus Package 'Wasteful'

U.S. Representative Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) voted against an economic stimulus bill today that would ultimately cost taxpayer’s nearly $1.2 trillion in new government debt.

“I wish Congress would open their eyes to the wasteful government spending that is contained in this bill and that will drive the country further into debt,” said Congressman Gregg Harper. “The American people know we cannot borrow and spend our way back to prosperity.”

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, of the $604 billion in new spending, only 15% would be spent in 2009. The spending along with $212 billion in tax provisions brings the total cost of the stimulus to $816 billion. Additionally, the CBO reports this new debt will cost $347 billion in interest payments bringing the total to an unbearable $1.16 trillion.

This partisan bill, led to the House floor by the Democratic leadership, is supposed to stimulate the economy with spending such as $600 million to purchase new cars for federal government workers when there is already a fleet of 642,000 vehicles. Other non-simulative spending includes $50 million for the National Endowment of Arts, $650 million for the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Program, $400 million for localities to buy energy efficient buses and $1.1 billion for Amtrak.

Under this legislation, $137 billion is included to create 32 new government programs. This slow and inefficient attempt to stimulate the economy is misleading the residents of Mississippi and the Third Congressional District. “The price tag is equivalent to borrowing $10,500 from every family in America,” added Harper. “People deserve a fast acting tax break to feel relief, not more careless government spending.”

Congressman Harper joined House Republicans in supporting an alternative plan constructed for economic growth through targeted tax relief, such as income tax reductions. However, that amendment was defeated by a vote of 170 – 266.


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