Senior Voters Should Beware of Reed

Our congressman, Rep. Tom Reed, is courting older voters by touting his support for renewing the Older Americans Act. No doubt, he’s aware of research showing that seniors turn out to vote at higher rates than those in other age groups.

The Older Americans Act is a wonderful piece of legislation. As the National Council on Aging puts it, “The Older Americans Act (OAA) funds critical services that keep older adults healthy and independent—services like meals, job training, senior centers, caregiver support, transportation, health promotion, benefits enrollment, and more.”

But before casting a vote for Reed, seniors should ask themselves whether Republicans in general, and Tom Reed in particular, are really friends of older Americans.

The two programs that have done the most to bring dignity and economic security to old age are Social Security and Medicare. Both are programs created and implemented by Democratic presidents — Franklin D. Roosevelt in the case of Social Security and Lyndon B. Johnson with respect to Medicare. President Johnson’s administration also gave us the Older Americans Act as part of his Great Society program.

Today, Republicans regard Social Security and Medicare as “entitlements” that should be cut. Voters who wish to see these programs sustained would be far wiser to vote for Democrat Martha Robertson than for Tom Reed. Martha points out that “Washington’s priorities are so backwards that currently Warren Buffet pays the same amount in Social Security taxes as many upper-middle income families. To me, it’s pretty simple – we can secure the future of Social Security and protect working families by asking billionaires to pay their fair share.” On Medicare, Martha has this to say: “Protecting Medicare is critical. Older Americans have paid for it all their working lives. I will fight to protect Medicare as we know it, to guarantee the health and well-being of our seniors who have earned it.”

As for the Older Americans Act, it’s far more likely to be renewed — and adequately funded — if Democrats regain control of the House in November. The legislation expired in 2011 and has been authorized since only by stopgap legislation. It never would have expired if Democrats controlled the House.

Seniors should ask themselves some other questions before voting for Reed. Which candidate, Robertson or Reed, is more likely to support programs that will provide opportunity and prosperity for our children and grandchildren?  Which candidate is more likely to vote to protect the environment, strengthen our system of education at all levels, and assure that America has a 21st century infrastructure? Which candidate is more likely to vote to strengthen the social safety net, including the SNAP program and Medicaid, in case our children and grandchildren fall on hard times? The answer to these questions is obvious.

In any event, Reed making a mistake if he thinks he can persuade seniors to vote for him on the basis of his support for renewing the Older Americans Act. Recent research finds little evidence that seniors vote as a bloc. We are a diverse group, and we take a wide range of considerations into account before we decide how to cast our vote. We’re smarter than Reed thinks.

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12 Responses to Senior Voters Should Beware of Reed

  1. BOB McGILL says:

    What older Americans should be afraid of is CRACK-POTS like this guy trying to scare them into thinking that Reed is a bad guy and Martha is anything but an idiot who would do anything to get their vote. Warren Buffet pays the same amount in Social Security taxes as many upper-middle income families and will receive the same benefits when they collect SS. 🙂

    • whungerford says:

      No, Bob, it’s Tom Reed himself who frightens us, not so much for ourselves as for younger people. When Tom threatens to cut SS for future retirees, he never explains how they will keep the wolf from their doors.

      • BOB McGILL says:

        Todays young people realize that past generations have destroyed any chance they might have had to accomplish the “American Dream “. Talk to some 20 to 30 year olds, they will tell you they are strapped with huge debt and there are no good paying jobs. Their hopes for a GOOD LIFE, went down the tubes long before Tom was elected !!!!!!
        You are so out of touch with” REAL PEOPLE” it isn’t funny ! 🙂

  2. whungerford says:

    S. 1562 (Sen. Bernie Sanders with six cosponsors) — Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2013 — Reauthorizes the Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA) and funding for its programs for FY2014-FY2018.
    Requires the Director of the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs (in the Administration on Aging [AOA] of the Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]) to collect, analyze, and report on best practices related to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation in long-term care facilities.
    Requires the Assistant Secretary for Aging of the AOA to focus: (1) on the health and economic needs and welfare of older individuals; and (2) ensure that authorized programs include appropriate training in the prevention of abuse, neglect, and exploitation and provision of services that address elder justice and the exploitation of older individuals.
    Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2014-FY2018, and revises requirements, for the AOA, the Eldercare Locator Service, pension counseling and information programs, supportive services, congregate nutrition services, disease prevention and health promotion services, family caregiver support, the nutrition services incentive program, the Community Service Senior Opportunity Act, grants for Native Americans.
    Revises requirements for the national family caregiver support program and the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, revising conflict-of-interest requirements and prohibitions for the latter.
    Requires health programs for older individuals to cover behavioral health.
    Directs the Comptroller General to study the transportation services for older individuals.
    Directs the Assistant Secretary to issue guidance to applicable to states, area agencies on aging, and providers of services for older individuals, with respect to serving Holocaust survivors.

    H.R. 3850 (Rep. Gibson with five cosponsors including Rep. Reed) Older Americans Act Reauthorization of 2014 – Amends the Older Americans Act of 1965 to reauthorize through FY2018 appropriations for: (1) the Administration on Aging, including the Eldercare Locator Service and pension counseling and information programs; (2) grants for state and community programs on aging; (3) grants and contracts for educational activities; (4) Older American community service employment programs; and (5) grants for Native Americans.

    Evidently H.R.3850 does less than S.1562. It would be interesting to know more about this.

  3. Deb Meeker says:

    Tom Reed bragged at one point that he cut 20 billion from SNAP. He may or may not have done research first, to find out that of SNAP benefits, 16% go to households with disabled persons, and 9% go to households with senior citizens. Many seniors are both living on Social Security and disabled, and desperately need food subsidies, and other assistance.
    Tom Reed takes away a huge amount of assistance to seniors with one hand behind his back, while offering a sly smile and a carrot with the other hand in public.
    Frankly, Reed’s open support of the Older Americans Act, merely signals to me that he has had some amount of feedback from seniors and others, that his previous votes against their interests has been noted.

  4. BOB McGILL says:

    SNAP was increased because of the 2008 financial mess and they want to roll it back to the 2008 figure as it is no longer needed because of an improving economy. Anyone who really needs it won’t see any difference !

    • BOB McGILL says:

      Work harder everyone, millions of Obamabots are depending on you.

      Americans who were recipients of means-tested government benefits in 2011 outnumbered year-round full-time workers, according to data released this month by the Census Bureau.
      They also out-numbered the total population of the Philippines.

      There were 108,592,000 people in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2011 who were recipients of one or more means-tested government benefit programs, the Census Bureau said in data released this week. Meanwhile, according to the Census Bureau, there were 101,716,000 people who worked full-time year round in 2011. That included both private-sector and government workers.

      Read the rest of this Patriot Update article here: http://patriotupdate.com/2013/10/census-bureau-welfare-recipients-now-outnumber-full-time-workers/#leWyUcuT5T8WFduE.99

  5. Barbara Griffin says:

    Tom Reed’s support of the Older American Act suggests that he’s starting to get nervous over the 2014 election…and/or perhaps his mother gave him hell. Typically, he votes with the Tea Party, which is dedicated to either slashing or privatizing Social Security and Medicare.

    • Deb Meeker says:

      His mother is deceased I think. Tom Reed does not honor her, whether alive or dead, by his actions to do away with Social Security and Medicare. He voted to take away these social programs that have served seniors and disabled for decades, than touts what a great guy he is by replacing with a valuable, but much smaller program.

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