The Greek people voted down austerity; we should do the same

catoTom Reed called the Greek debt crisis a “stern warning” to America, advocating for the Federal government to live within its means and move toward a balanced budget.

The Greek people voted to reject austerity–a wise move. Cutting spending when times are bad only makes things worse. Reducing debt when times are good makes sense; trying to balance the budget when times are bad is irresponsible as well as likely impossible.

“We should view the crises in Greece and Puerto Rico as canaries in the coal mine,” Reed continued. “Countries around the world are over promising and financing obligations with borrowing. You can’t live on credit forever. People are beginning to question why their leaders didn’t prevent these problems.”

Is America like Greece? Of course not. America is a large, rich country, Greece a small poor one. Is Greece in trouble due to borrowing? No, they are in debt because of a world-wide economic collapse which was particularly tough on Greece and other small European countries.

Reed went on to advocate for elements of his Strategic National Agenda, calling for job creation, spending reductions and reforms that stabilize entitlement programs for the long term, specifically the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund.

No Labels’ National Strategic Agenda doesn’t call for spending cuts–that’s Reed’s idea. To stabilize Social Security Disability, Reed would cut benefits to the disabled–austerity for those most in need of help.

“The situation in Greece was brought about by career only minded politicians and an extreme liberal progressive spending agenda. Now the people of Greece are now paying the price for these ill fated policies,” said Reed. “I empathize with the people of Greece but now is the time to make sure Americans don’t end up in a similar situation.”

No, the situation in Greece is due to world-wide recession which lasted longer than expected. Now is the time to invest in America rather than the time to push austerity on the disabled.

For example, the Social Security Disability Trust fund will reach insolvency in 2016. If Congress fails to act by the deadline, disabled beneficiaries will see an instantaneous 20 percent reduction in payments because of the failure in leadership to address this impending crisis proactively. Earlier this Congress, Reed sponsored a rule preventing the Social Security Retirement fund from being raided to bail out the Social Security Disability Insurance fund.

Reed’s rule isn’t helpful–it blocks needed action by the Obama Administration while Congress does nothing. It hardly matters to the disabled if benefits are cut due to inaction or by a deliberate move to cut benefits as Reed suggests.

“I care about those who rely on the Social Security Disability Insurance Fund; we need to make sure the fund is there for people who need it most but at the same time protect our social security retirees from the DC insider bail out proposal being considered today.” Reed continued. “It’s time to lead and that is what I intend to do.”

If Tom Reed really cared, he wouldn’t keep trying to cut spending on programs that address peoples needs. If he were really a leader, he wouldn’t invariably follow the Republican Party line.

http://reed.house.gov/press-release/reed-listen-greece

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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.
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2 Responses to The Greek people voted down austerity; we should do the same

  1. Anne says:

    Reed, as we all know, is also not an economist, and his press releases read as though written by someone who’s scanned a few headlines and managed to cobble together a string of clichés so weak, so beside the point, that they only approximate talking points–nothing substantive, and no indication anywhere that Reed knows what he’s talking about. Paul Krugman (who is an economist) understands, as he always does, the real issues of the subject and is worth reading; here’s a recent column: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/06/opinion/paul-krugman-ending-greeces-bleeding.html?_r=0

  2. pystew says:

    You are right on target. A radio discussion about Greece this morning brought up that Germany wants to have Greece raise their retirement age. That is exactly what Jeb (and others) have been preaching about Social Security.

    When we get closer to the time that SSDI will pay only 80% of the disabled benefits, Reed and his buddies will be comparing Us (US) with Greece. Thanks for the heads-up.

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