Saturday, June 4, 2011

NV-03: Joe Heck Bashes Nevada Seniors (Yet Again)

(Also at Daily Kos)

Why am I not surprised? After all, Joe Heck makes no apologies of sucking up to Wall Street special interests while working class Nevada families suffer. And of course, this means Heck is gung-ho behind Paul Ryan's "Kill Medicare" plan.

So in essence, perhaps we really shouldn't be surprised by this statement that seems to be more than just some random "gaffe". Rachel Maddow actually did a great job of putting together all the pieces of this sordid Republican puzzle.

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And Think Progress delivers an even more devastating blow of a reality check to "Trust Me, I'm a Doctor!" Joe Heck.

Heck’s words touched off an instant uproar among his constituents, who immediately began shouting him down and challenging his disparaging characterization. He also falsely claimed at the outset of his remarks: “No one is talking about raising the retirement age.” Heck appears to be the latest Republican to take his talking points directly from the Tea Party group FreedomWorks, run by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R). At a conference for conservative activists, Armey called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme“ that steals people’s money “under false pretenses.”

Nevada journalist Jon Ralston reported that Heck has been trying to walk back his comments. Heck first said, “I regret that I misspoke” and added, “Those who have followed my position know that I am fully committed to protecting the promise of Social Security.”

Contrary to Heck’s opinion, Social Security has actually worked amazingly well since its inception, lifting millions of disabled and senior citizens out of poverty. It remains indispensable: the median income for senior households is $24,000, and Social Security provides the majority of income for two-thirds of our elderly.

Despite numerous polls and an electoral upset that illustrate just how unpopular their position is, Republicans can’t seem to take the hint that Americans overwhelmingly like and depend on entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. After paying into them their entire careers, Americans expect these programs to remain intact to support them when they need it. There is simply no appetite for Republican efforts to abolish them, or tolerance for lawmakers who disparage them. Yet congressional Republicans remain defiant to public opinion and are sticking with their plans to end Medicare.

Wait, where have we seen this before? For some reason, this sounds so familiar. Oh yes, that's right! On the campaign trail last year, Joe Heck supported the same agenda of privatizing Social Security and Medicare that Sharron Angle championed... Except when it wasn't convenient to admit that. It looks like we (the voters in NV-03) are left holding the short end of that stick.

Many thousands of Nevadans rely upon Social Security as their main (sometimes, only) source of income, and upon Medicare for their much needed health care. Without these two vital programs, Nevada would be devastated by an outbreak of senior poverty that we probably haven't experienced since The Great Depression. But what does Joe Heck want to do? Oh, he just wants to screw around with our Social Security and Medicare!

Don't believe him when he says he doesn't. Believe his record. And believe his backers.

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