Rep. Reed Complains About Debt, But His Solutions Help Only the Rich

In last week’s email to constituents, our congressman, Rep. Tom Reed, complained about the national debt again. Reed pointed to a recent Congressional Budget Office report, The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014-2024, which projects that annual interest on the national debt will total $880 billion by 2024, or about 18 per cent of government revenues.

This level of debt service is indeed a problem.  Even today, with interest payments at 8 percent of revenues, our country is unable to make vitally needed investments in infrastructure, innovation, and education. With interest payments at 18 per cent — in addition to necessary spending on Medicare, Social Security, and national defense — funds would simply not be available for fighting climate change, maintaining America’s position as a technology leader, or building 21st century networks of transportation and communication.

We came to this position thanks largely to the Tea Party’s domination of the Republican party in the House of Representatives. The irresponsible and supposedly temporary Bush era tax cuts account for much of the shortfall in revenue, but Republicans insisted that they be made permanent for all but the very rich as part of the 2012 deal to avert the “fiscal cliff.” As long as Republicans control the House, we can forget about correcting tax dodges like those that allow rich hedge fund managers to avoid paying income taxes or permit mega-corporations to park their profits offshore tax havens. Thursday’s New York Times calls for “greater sacrifice from the rich to bring in desperately needed revenue for rebuilding the country and improving education.” This will not happen while Republicans control the House.

Rep. Reed and the Tea Party would reduce debt service as a proportion of federal revenues by cutting programs that help the poor, working families, and the middle class, notably SNAP, Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare. A better answer for our children and grandchildren would be to increase revenues by encouraging economic growth and asking the rich to pay their fair share. To get to this answer, we need a House of Representatives controlled by Democrats. Voters in New York’s 23rd can help achieve this goal by electing Martha Robertson in November.



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11 Responses to Rep. Reed Complains About Debt, But His Solutions Help Only the Rich

  1. whungerford says:

    The claim that interest on the national debt needs be a problem is false. Rather than cut needed programs we could simply tax interest at a high rate thus recovering most of the cost. Tom Reed offers us an unacceptable choice–cut the social safety net now or be forced to cut it even more tomorrow. This is a false dichotomy– we need make no such choice.


  2. Deb Meeker says:

    I wonder if it ever occurs to Tom Reed, that if the Ryan plan, (which is basically what Reed is still pushing) were to actually have been fully utilized, our kids and grandkids would most likely be saddled with taking care of us older Americans, rather than allowing us to have independent fulfilling lives on our own. Hopefully Social Security, Medicare, and other social safety net programs will remain a third rail, with enough jolt to knock those ideas off the track.


  3. BOB McGILL says:

    What a great idea ! The wealthiest 1% pay 95% of all taxes ,so what would it matter, to them, to make them pay 100% of all taxes. That seems to be the only DEMOCRATIC thing to do. 🙂


  4. whungerford says:

    Would you like to pay more, Bob, so billionaires can pay less?


  5. BOB McGILL says:

    I would love to see your reaction to a FLAT TAX, where everyone pays the same. Did you see the paper where Martha opposes the SAFT ACT, maybe you should pay closer attention to your choice as a replacement for Tom. It would seem that you have no idea what she will do next.


  6. Barbara Griffin says:

    When Eisenhower was in office, the wealthiest Americans paid 91-94%, and the entire country prospered…including the wealthy. This dropped to 70-77% in the 1960’s. Reagan cut taxes on the wealthy to 50% in 1982, and down to 28% by 1988. Clinton raised it to 39.8% in 1993, and passed a surplus on to George W…who promptly dropped the rate to 35%, and got this country in to two wars by borrowing money from China, and not putting it on the books. President Obama has been trying to dig this country out from under ever since.


  7. whungerford says:

    I’m against flat tax which is like welfare for the rich. I agree with what Barbara Griffin says about it.


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  9. Reed opposes the SAFE ACT as do many people in the 23rd. Martha believes some of the provisions have gone too far and they penalize responsible gun ownership. She has believed this from the beginning of her candidacy.


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