(WGHP) — When Mark Walker was first elected to the US House in 2014, replacing Republican Howard Coble who’d held the seat for 30 years, one of his main issues was getting federal spending under control.

“Republicans like to talk about fiscal responsibility but, lately, it doesn’t seem like we’re actually living out those actions,” Walker says.  “And the reason why that’s such a concern is not just the economic aspect but if you look at – there’s an old proverb that talks about the debtor is servant to the lender.  If you look at how much we’re borrowing from China, right now, these are national security concerns as well and we’ve got to make sure that we make tough decisions when we go to Washington, DC.

“I think the government’s role is to make sure they’re pushing back on some of this spending.  I know that sounds very general because everybody doesn’t like to control spending but we know, in fact, (economist) Milton Friedman is the one who said it best inflation is taxation without representation.”

There are real-world ramifications to that for most Americans, Walker says.

“Fifty years ago, our mandatory spending was about 20, 25%. Discretionary was 70 to 80%. That’s what Congress makes a budget on. Fast forward 50 years to 2022, and it’s inverted. Now, what’s the problem with that? Well, mandatory is made up of two things: paying interest on the national debt and paying out entitlements.  Everything else that we do that’s important – infrastructure, education, military and defense – is now being compressed every year, shrinking. Until we’re willing to go after the mandatory side have the courage to do so in the United States House, the United States Senate, we’re not going to bend this bell curve and Social Security’s not going to be solvent in 8 years.”

Walker believes getting America’s energy sector moving again is essential to getting inflation under control.

“As far as what the government can do, the whole mindset for the whole four years of the Trump administration – something that we personally worked on – was not only to become energy-independent but also energy dominant,” he says. “We don’t hear that terminology a whole lot.  Energy dominant not only allows us to be energy independent, in other words, we’re not depending on Russia and foreign oil and whoever else it might be but allows us to be a leader where we then can then create more jobs and we’re now selling a surplus of oil and gas that we’re producing, right here in the United States.”

But he doesn’t give himself a large window to work on these things.  Walker has already spent six years in the US House and is now running for the senate but promises not to stay long there, either.

“I’ve already signed it and put it in writing that I think the most a member of the house or senate should ever serve is 12 years,” Walker says.

See more from Walker – including what he believes should be done with the people who rioted at the capitol on January 6th – in this Your Local Election Headquarters report from Bob Buckley.