Saturday, June 23, 2012

Joe Heck's "Check-gate" Scandal Explained

Since news broke of Joe Heck's wife collecting unemployment benefits, Heck's "TEA" infused professional apologists have been trying hard to spin away this inconvenient truth. So I figured now's a good time to explain point by point why so many Nevadans are disturbed by Joe Heck's hypocrisy on collecting government checks.

- First off, Joe Heck introduced a bill to slash unemployment benefits, along with many other federal programs, to 2006 levels. Basically, he wants to bring European style job killing austerity to America! Here's what I found back in November.

Heck wants to slash federal investment in our people to 2006 levels and fire more public sector workers! Even though we have more miltary veterans in need of VA care, college students in need of Pell Grants, working poor families in need of Medicaid and food stamps, retirees in need of Medicare and Social Security, and unemployed workers in need of unemployment insurance, Heck refuses to acqknowledge this reality and instead has introduced this bill that would plunge our economy into double-dip recession if enacted!

If we were to slash all these programs and more, we would all pay the price of further suffering. Without unemployment insurance, those without work can't survive. Same goes for seniors on Medicare, working poor families on food stamps and Medicaid, students with Pell Grants, and veterans using VA assistance. If they can't even buy food and basic supplies, let alone purchase anything else, our economy would take a massive hit. Oh, and in the longer term the budget deficit would only worsen as tax revenue plunges because of even more people losing their jobs.

While Heck has occasionally voted for unemployment benefits, in the end he's always stood by his G-O-TEA colleagues whenever they wanted his support. And he supported them in a big way by pushing this bill to cut unemployment aid drastically and impose a radical austerity regime upon America that only Paul Ryan and Angela Merkel could love. If enacted, Heck's bill would have plunged us into the kind of recession that's now plaguing most of Europe.

- And in case that wasn't enough, Joe Heck has also religiously backed Paul Ryan's plan to impose economy busting austerity on our country. And if you're still wondering why Joe Heck does Nevada no favors in backing The Ryan Plan, then you need to read Desert Beacon more often.

- Yet even as Joe Heck preaches "AUSTERITY!!!" to us, he practices something completely different. While he champions public sector layoffs and slashing government investment, Joe Heck has specialized in collecting all sorts of government funded paychecks. He's offered "consulting services" to local agencies, and he made a cool $1,000,000 off all those government contracts.

- Shortly after Joe Heck was elected to Congress, he decided that it was too risky to keep his company going, as all his government contracts posed a conflict of interest. So Joe Heck dissolved his company. And his wife, Lisa, who was also on the company's payroll, decided to collect unemployment benefits. Oh, and she did so just as her husband was beginning to collect a $174,000 per year taxpayer funded salary in Congress!

And this is why Joe Heck is now in big trouble. Simply put, he has a hypocrisy problem. As I said yesterday, Heck has a habit of collecting all these government funded checks. Yet while he's collected all these government funded checks, he votes to cut government programs that can help keep many Nevada families out of poverty. And while Heck collected all these government backed checks, he and his campaign attacked the likes of Dina Titus (a UNLV professor) and John Oceguera (formerly a firefighter) for their public service. Sorry, but what Joe Heck has been doing is the very definition of hypocrisy!

No matter how much Heck's apologists try to spin this, "Check-gate" reveals a serious problem Joe Heck has. If he can't even practice what he preaches, why does he keep preaching it to us?

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