U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett knocked President Clinton's economic plan last night and said a tax increase won't help to create jobs.
"There's just no way we're going to help the economy by taking more money out of the private sector where it would create jobs.
"No tax hike has ever reduced the deficit," said Mr. Bartlett, a freshman Republican from Frederick who represents Maryland's 6th District.
He spoke to 13 people at a meeting of the Carroll County Taxpayers Association at the County Office Building in Westminster.
Mr. Clinton's proposal to increase taxes and spending will not help the economy, said Mr. Bartlett.
"Our experience has been, the more money you give the government to spend, the larger the deficit will be," Mr. Bartlett said.
"I'm not going to vote to raise taxes," he emphasized.
Last month, Mr. Bartlett voted for a Republican plan that would have cut federal spending by about $400 billion and that contained no new taxes. The plan was defeated in the House of Representatives.
Mr. Bartlett has said he refuses to consider any tax increases until specific spending cuts are made.
Last night, he said he had two hopes for the Clinton administration.
One was that Mr. Clinton "would turn America around." The other was that he would "blow it big time" so people would elect a Republican president in 1996.
The congressman said he expects the latter.
Increasing taxes and spending is "a prescription for disaster," he said.
When he took office in January, Mr. Bartlett said he expected to find "malicious people bent on destroying America" in Washington.
He didn't find that, he said. But "these liberals" believe politicians and bureaucrats know better than the American people how to spend tax money, he said.
"Our young president has been working hard," said Mr. Bartlett, who is 66. But he added, "There's not a whole lot to smile about. I wish I could bring you better news."
The congressman said the country must reform its health care system by capping jury awards, reducing the costs of malpractice insurance and standardizing claims processing.
He praised the 6th District, which includes Carroll, part of Howard County and Western Maryland.
"We're a great district. We're a very conservative district. I wish we had 435 districts across the country like it," Mr. Bartlett said.
Speaking briefly about foreign affairs, he said experts have told him they expect the United States will have to send troops to Bosnia to stop the ethnic war there.
"I share your concern," he told one man who asked how America could help the situation. "We are not the world's policeman. We can't get involved everywhere."