Would Tom Reed cut Social Security benefits for future retirees? Heck yes, he has said so time and time again
“It is not a question of if, but rather when these programs run out – unless we take steps now to reform and save them,” Reed continued. “Individuals are paying directly into these programs and they are entitled to their benefits. The focus should be on reforms (cuts) that do not affect those who currently receive or will soon be receiving benefits, but those who are a generation out. That way, they can plan with certainty. If we act preventively, we can stabilize the programs and get them on firm ground.” — Rep. Tom Reed
I have been to several of Tom Reed’s townhall meetings at which he discussed his views on social security. Tom stated repeatedly that:
- The status quo is unsustainable
- Reforms should not affect current recipients
- Benefits for future recipients must be cut.
While Tom may never have specified in detail what benefits should be cut, his presentation left no doubt that future recipients, those under 50 perhaps, should plan on reduced benefits. Indeed it was clear that Tom’s goal was to cut spending, one of his number one priorities, and that would require reduced spending on benefits.
Then (he) voted to raise the Social Security retirement age on us.
Support for this claim is given in the link below. Nevertheless, the claim has been questioned. Politifact writes:
In an ad, Robertson said Reed “voted to raise the Social Security retirement age on us.” That’s a stretch.
While the Cooper-LaTourette budget proposal was based on the Simpson-Bowles report, which did support an increase in the retirement age, the actual measure considered by the House (and voted for by Reed) was significantly more vague on that point.
Meanwhile, even if you agree that Reed was effectively voting for a retirement-age increase, it’s an exaggeration for the ad to say that such a hike was “on us,” since a large majority of the district would not have been affected by a policy that was only designed to take effect in 2050.
On balance, we rate the claim Half True.
Politifact’s nit-picking conclusion, based primarily on the support offered by the Robertson campaign, ignores the obvious–Tom has made clear time and time again that he favors cutting Social Security benefits for future retirees.
The claim that only a few would be affected because the change would take effect in 2050 is silly–under that assumption it would affect all those born after 1985, many of our children as well as present and future grandchildren.
© William Hungerford – August 2014