This country is tens of trillions of dollars in debt with no ability to pay it back. That's a bill that will be passed on to our great-grandchildren to pay. Yet the corrupt government keeps borrowing and spending money that it doesn't have with reckless abandon.

The government nearly collapsed the economy with unnecessary mandates and restrictions on individuals and businesses in the name of public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Local governments like that of New Bedford were encouraged to spend funds they didn't have with assurances the taxpayer would bail them out.

The Biden Administration and Congress have responded by opening the spigot of free cash through programs such as the American Rescue Plan Act that pours taxpayer funds into communities for non-COVID-related projects. Mayor Jon Mitchell has said some of the tens of millions of dollars New Bedford will receive could even find its way into offshore wind-related projects. Really?

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The administration is seeking public suggestions as to how to spend this windfall of cash. I have a great idea: what say we give it back? New Bedford is not entitled to taxpayer money for anything not directly related to the pandemic so let's set an example and refuse the money.

Any financial assistance from Washington should go directly to the individuals and businesses directly impacted by reckless government policies during the health crisis and nothing more. The taxpayers should not be on the hook for local projects that have nothing to do with COVID.

Unless you want your grandkids paying for things that your state and local taxes should already be funding, join me in telling Mayor Mitchell to return all monies not directly being used for COVID relief back to the U.S. Treasury.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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