Portland townhall meeting Feb. 21, 2015

i_love_portland_new_yorkLast week I held five town hall meetings covering issues related to property rights and ISIS. I always look forward to hearing from the people of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes. Know I am taking your thoughts and suggestions back to Washington. On such important issues as terrorism and national security, it is vital to hear from you.–Rep. Tom Reed

This report was written by Cath Kestler, a resident of Silver Creek in NY-23, and is shared here with permission.

There’s been a sighting of Tom Reed in Chautauqua County, in February, no less; this occurrence is about as rare as the groundhog we see once a year. We saw his shadow looming large against a snowy, grey day in a Town Hall meeting where we were greeted by two armed plain-clothed sheriff officers.

One of the first questions asked was regarding the long term changes Reed is seeking for SSDI, because according to Reed, reallocation (a common practice that has been done since the inception of the SSDI program) isn’t an option he will back. He says it needs Congress’ approval and they will not approve it.

According to Reed’s pie chart he is tying Social Security to the deficit and the federal debt. By law, it is prohibited to be counted as part of the federal budget. Therefore, Social Security and its Disability Insurance Trust Fund do not contribute a single cent towards the federal debt. [Federal law clearly states that Social Security “shall not be counted…for the purpose of-(1) the budget of the United States Government as submitted by the President (or) (2) the congressional budget…” Pub. L. 101-508, title XIII, Sec. 13301(a), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388-623]. So, Reed’s pie chart is smoke and mirrors. In fact, it is a lie.

Reed raised the question: ‘What is disability?’ He was dumbfounded to know we knew the answer. Social Security pays benefits averaging more than $16,000 a year to more than 9.6 million veterans—about four in ten veterans. Nearly 5,000 children who lost one or both parents in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are now receiving survivor’s benefits and many more of the children of the roughly 777,000 wounded service men and service women are receiving disability dependents benefits.

Reed believes in retraining those that are collecting SSDI. I have nothing against retraining when it can be done, but the last I looked Reed, by trade is a lawyer in the medical debt collection business. Just because you collect medical debt doesn’t give you the credo to assume that you know what is best for the disabled; when did he have the time to become a MD? A spin doctor, yes, a medical doctor, no, no, no.

His blasé attitude presented to the crowd; definitely wasn’t invited. As questions were raised, Reed showed a proclivity to throw those same questions back at us to answer. Transparency was thrown out the door. At one point he was asked to stop using political rhetoric and posturing and answer more precise and with facts; he took this to a whole other level and proceeded being extremely facetious towards the audience.

During one volley of questions regarding SSDI he brought up the selling of bonds to secure SSDI, this tactic is taken from the page of the Libertarian book of privatizing Social Security. Once that dirty word “privatization” was whispered, quick as a crack of the whip, we were shut down from further posing any more questions regarding this matter.

Look, Congress hasn’t been able to come up with a 5-year funding plan to restore the Highway Trust Fund since 2008 when it ran out of money and our infrastructure began crumbling; what makes you think Congress can restore sustainable funding for the SSDI Trust Fund before it supposedly runs out in 2016? Reed is trying to undermine the confidence in a government program and pit the elderly against the disabled. SSDI is run under the Social Security Trust, it is ONE fund and it is a payroll deduction you have made and are entitled to; don’t believe the rhetoric Reed’s camp is spewing. He is pandering to his base, no questions about it.

We touched briefly on his proposed law that would force state governments to pay for potential money homeowners would think they could receive before the fracking ban in NYS. We asked who would be responsible for the payments to the aforementioned homeowners for those claims; he proudly answered; the taxpayers. Now, I understand why he needs those armed bodyguards at taxpayer’s expense!

A lot of questions were left unanswered and as usual, we’ll probably have to wait another couple of years for the answers. Reed needs to remember just who he works for—it’s not his big donors, it’s you and me, the taxpayers that foot ALL the bills.

In case you are interested the Town of Ellery is fighting an expansion of the Chautauqua County Landfill. There is a public hearing to receive comments on March 4, 2015 at the Jamestown Airport, 3163 Airport Drive, Jamestown, NY 14701 at 6pm. Bodies are needed to be present to support the Town of Ellery. It has been suspected that the reason for the expansion is that 30% of the industrial waste being dumped there is fracking waste from Pennsylvania. If it’s so safe, why don’t they keep it in their own backyard!?!

12:30 PM Febuary 21, 2015
Portland Town Hall
87 W. Main Street, Brocton, NY

 

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About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com 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.
This entry was posted in Congress, Constituents, Economics, Health Care, Political, Reed's Views, Seniors and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Portland townhall meeting Feb. 21, 2015

  1. Deb Meeker says:

    Thanks so much Cath Kestler for going to the TH and writing this report!
    It rather sounds like Tom Reed was neither prepared to have knowledgeable constituents there, nor had the ability to give intelligent answers. Throwing a question back to the questioners is a pretty sleazy escape from giving serious replies
    Anyone who has applied for SSDI would tell you, the hoops they had to jump through were enough. Tom Reed suggests funding retraining? Did he say how he would pay for that too?

  2. pystew says:

    I am so glad that it was pointed out that Social Security does not add to the federal debt. He doesn’t quite say that, does he? Also I have not heard much about the new bureaucracy he wants to add to a government hat he already feels is too big. How many shades of disability does he think there is? He has already admitted that he is not a scientist, when will he admit he is not a health care expert?

    We are fortunate to have this report. We can now team this one with the reports like with the Owego (focus: Property Rights) and Penn Yan (focus: ISIS) Town Halls. The February Town Hall Trilogy.I t is important to see what issues DO NOT get informative answers.

    Wouldn’t it be great we get reports from all Rep. Reed’s Town Halls?

    Thanks.

  3. whungerford says:

    Tom says: ” I always look forward to hearing from the people of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes. Know I am taking your thoughts and suggestions back to Washington.”

    Yet Cath writes: ” As questions were raised, Reed showed a proclivity to throw those same questions back at us to answer. … At one point he was asked to stop using political rhetoric and posturing and answer more precise and with facts; he took this to a whole other level and proceeded being extremely facetious towards the audience.”

    There is a contradiction here. I think the suggestion that we ask Tom to “stop using political rhetoric and posturing and answer more precise and with facts” is a good one.

  4. whungerford says:

    I’m not sure Tom ever admitted he isn’t a scientist; wasn’t it Joe who said that?

  5. pystew says:

    You are right, it was Joe.

  6. Sounds like Tom Reed was armed with the usual GOP talking points. I don’t expect Democrats in the Senate will let this pass in their chamber, just like they didn’t let the DHS funding bill pass with the immigration action rider. We need to lobby our Democratic senators to ensure that’s the route they take.

  7. BOB McGILLl says:

    WRONG 🙂

  8. pystew says:

    Follow the link to the Corning Leader article. “Reed tries to comfort us by saying that “fracking is safe”. His district directer reminds us that Reed has a law degree; he is not a scientist.”

  9. BOB McGILL says:

    ” So, Reed’s pie chart is smoke and mirrors. In fact, it is a lie. ” ?????
    BUT IT AIN’T REED’S PIE CHART 🙂 IT’S THE GOVERNMENT’S CHART !!!!!!!!

  10. BOB McGILL says:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/…/the_science_is_settled_fracking_is_safe.html‎

    Sep 21, 2014 … According to a new study published by the National Academy of Sciences, fracking is safe. End of discussion. Funded by the National Science …

  11. pystew says:

    Reed’s explanation of the Pie Chart is a lie. He knows that Social Security does not add a single penny to the debt or the deficit, but that is what he is telling us. It is a lie–not a half truth, an exaggeration, or a spin. It is a lie. There is a reason a liar lies–he doesn’t want us to hear the truth. Defend him all you want, Bob, but he only wants your vote.

    Notice the disclaimer on the bottom of the following chart he uses all of the time to misrepresent the facts to us: “Projections Based On The CBO’s Alternative Fiscal Scenario” (Which means he had to dig deep and look far for this ‘Alternative Scenario’). I guess the ‘Alternative Scenario’ is assuming that Americans, including Corporations, don’t plan to invest in the future.

  12. Judi lutz woods says:

    Fracking is banned, for now hopefully forever, based on the concerns and push for further study on the health concerns. Have you read the study, we the ny taxpayers paid for it. Different perspective than am thinker

  13. Pingback: Tom Reed’s fancy footwork on SS Disability | New NY 23rd

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