Tom Reed spoke to about 20 people at the Elmira Town Hall on Jan. 31, 2015; seven wore AARP shirts. Here are some notes I took during the meeting.
Defense of Property
- NYS fracking ban represents government overreach.
- The Fifth Amendment requires compensation when property is “taken.”
Rules of the House:
(Tom sponsored a change to the House rules to force the Obama Administration to wait for Congress to “reform” Social Security Disability Insurance.)
- SSDI bankrupt now.
- Won’t steal from SS to fund SSDI.
- SSDI only for the “catastrophically disabled.”
- Wants those who can to work.
- Redefine disability.
- Reduce waste.
Tom said he expects the rule change to force Congress to confront the issue of SSDI funding. Tom mentioned a proposal to fund SSDI with short term borrowing from the treasury to be repaid from payroll taxes. Tom said he might support this idea which evidently presumes that benefits would be cut.
Questions and Answers:
The AARP seeks to make Elmira an age-friendly community. To this end, they are interested in government promoted health research. Tom’s answer: “budgets are tight.” One person gave his opinion that government only wastes money.
In response to a question on defense of property, Tom said he rejected overriding state law. Instead his bill would compel the state to compensate landowners forcing NYS to give up the fracking ban or shoulder an impossible financial burden.
A women complained that the Earned Income Tax Credit is too generous because not all income is counted. She wants veterans benefits, SSDI, and other such income to be counted.
Paolo Cremidis asked about student loan debt. This was followed by a confused discussion including the following points:
- A person said “liberals fund liberals,” and “starve universities to force them to cut costs.”
- Another person said sports are a distraction according to the Communist Manifesto. She also noted that the cold war isn’t over as she claimed Martha Robertson has said.
- Tom complained that college administrators and coaches are paid too much.
There was a confused discussion of Russia and Ukraine.
Tom concluded that rising costs for labor in other countries, America’s rule of law, and American energy production are spurring American industry. He said the market, not the government, is responsible for economic recovery.
The meeting lasted about 70 minutes. There was a four page handout. The first page listed Tom’s ideas for job creation:
- National Debt reduction.
- Removing excessive regulation.
- Streamlining the tax code.
- Implementing a comprehensive domestic energy plan.
The other three pages were charts:
- Pie chart showing government spending categories.
- Projected interest cost on national debt shown rising by 400% in ten years (no specific source given).
- “What drives our debt?” Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and interest on the National Debt. Revenues are shown as a constant percentage of the economy (national income?).
© William Hungerford – January 2015