Tom Reed on Social Security

Would Tom Reed cut Social Security benefits for future retirees? Heck yes, he has said so time and time again

handsoffsocialsecurity“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.

martha3Martha Robertson’s first ad stated:

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.

true_logoThus unlike Politifact, I would rate Robertson’s ad claim True.

© William Hungerford – August 2014




About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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4 Responses to Tom Reed on Social Security

  1. josephurban says:

    Mr Reed has shown an ability to imply and leave vague his stands on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Health care, etc. He refuses to take a real stand, so a voter can assume that he is in favor of whatever that particular voter is in favor of. When I was in Mexico it was very difficult to spot chameleons. They blend in with whatever surface they happen to be grasping to at the moment.


  2. Deb meeker says:

    Then there’s this little jewel, that ends with ““What I hear from those who advocate we don’t do anything and allow the debt to increase is that they are content to not make the hard decisions now but rather do what is easy so their reelection is not jeopardized. That’s not my approach because I’m not willing to jeopardize the future of the next generation for personal reelection interest. Enough is enough. It is time to lead.”
    Lead us to what Tom? More failure of imagination, and upcoming generations cheated out of one of the few major governmental institutions that works?

    Plus, oh please, let’s not forget Reed happily voted for the Ryan Budget, of which the CBO had this to say:
    “The CBO analysis states that the Ryan plan would raise the age at which people become eligible for Medicare from 65 to 67, even as it repeals the health reform law’s coverage provisions. This means 65- and 66-year-olds would have neither Medicare nor access to health insurance exchanges in which they could buy coverage at an affordable price and receive subsidies to help them secure coverage if their incomes are low. This change would put many more 65- and 66-year-olds who don’t have employer coverage into the individual insurance market, where the premiums charged to people in this age group tend to be extremely high — thereby leaving many of them uninsured. People of limited means would be affected most harshly because they would not be able to afford private coverage. In addition, many 65- and 66-year-olds with a pre-existing medical condition would not be able to purchase coverage at any price.
    The Ryan plan would also replace Medicare’s guarantee of health coverage with premium-support payments to seniors (starting with new beneficiaries in 2023) that they would use to buy coverage from private insurance companies or traditional Medicare. ”


  3. whungerford says:

    Tom says he favors tax reform, but never spells out the details. Specifically, he never says how everyone’s taxes can go down if the plan is revenue neutral–an impossibility. Perhaps we need to reelect him if we dare to find out.


  4. Pingback: The legitimate object of government | New NY 23rd

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