Hensarling Talks Budget at Exchange Club

Exchange Club Vice President Ronda Moreland, U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, and Exchange Club President Bryan McCrory — Courtesy Photo

Community Contribution

U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling addressed an overflow crowd Aug. 19 at the weekly meeting of the Exchange Club of Lake Highlands.

The congressman represents the 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and was recently appointed co-chair of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. From such position he will have a major role in attempting to deal with the issue of deficit reduction in Washington, D.C.

Much of Hensarling’s talk explained the current magnitude of the federal debt and the potential for the federal debt to increase in the future, if existing policies are not changed. Hensarling said he hopes all Americans will give serious thought to the prospect of leaving our children and grandchildren with so much debt that for the first time in American history a new generation will have less economic opportunity than the previous generation.  

Challenging the audience, Hensarling said, “We can all agree, whatever our political beliefs, that the level of federal debt now and in the future is unacceptable.”

Through the use of charts and graphs, Hensarling explained that federal spending can be divided into two categories: discretionary spending and entitlement spending.

Entitlement spending, consisting mainly of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and interest on the federal debt, makes up a sizable majority of total federal expenditures and will increase as a share of federal expenditures in the future.

Hensarling pointed out a common misconception that cutting earmarks and foreign aid would result in a significant reduction in the federal debt when, in fact, these items only make up about 2 percent of total federal expenditures.

According to Hensarling, if something is not done to control the cost of future entitlements we cannot solve the federal debt problem long-term.

At the end of the talk, Hensarling took several questions from the audience and then stayed after the meeting ended to take additional questions.

As an organization devoted to serving the community, the Exchange Club of Lake Highlands believes it is important to invite our elected representatives, federal, state, and local, to address issues of concern to our citizens.

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