Thursday, September 6, 2012

NV-03: Your Budget, Your Values

So DC's local gossip rag caught Joe Heck's new ad. Supposedly, this his big move to "get ahead of likely attacks on Social Security and Medicare". At first, that sounds all fine and dandy.

However, there's a catch. Joe Heck's words don't really match his actions. Remember this?

And remember this?

Paul Ryan's budget dumps another $187,000 tax cut on the lap of every multi-millionaire and billionaire. Yet while the ultra-wealthy are getting another "bailout", the working poor suffer as 62% of Ryan's proposed budget cuts hit programs like Medicaid and Pell Grants that are meant to lift Americans out of poverty. Oh, and let's not forget the centerpiece of Paul Ryan's budget, which is his "RyanCare" plan to end Medicare as we know it and force seniors to pay up to $5,900 more for health care. Even retired military officers have come out against Paul Ryan's budget because of his proposed cuts to international programs meant to keep America safe. [...]

If even Paul Ryan's own constituents can't stand what he's trying to do to our country, what makes Joe Heck think he can get away with this here in Nevada? Between his own "Destroying America's Trust in Our Economy Act" and his constant votes for Paul Ryan's dangerous austerity agenda, Heck is sending us the message that he cares more about pleasing Paul Ryan and the rest of the House G-O-TEA leadership than doing what's right for Nevada's working families. All Heck is doing is proving Mr. Gleaner's point that he's nothing more than a G-O-TEA tool.

So yes, this is something to remember when Joe Heck talks about Medicare. However, it doesn't actually end there. In addition to their shared goal of privatizing and "voucher-izing" Medicare, Joe Heck and Paul Ryan share an overall desire to rip to shreds the very social safety net that has made America's great middle class, as well as our economy built upon that foundation, possible.

Remember when Joe Heck actually jumped to the right of even Paul Ryan by introducing his "Destroying America's Trust in Our Economy Act"?

Nowhere in Heck's "Restoring America's Faith and Trust Act" does it address the Bush tax rates, war spending, or economic health. Instead, 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.

Remember all of this when Joe Heck declares his love for public education, military veterans, Social Security & Medicare, or pretty much anything else that requires some kind of public investment. Remember that in the end, one values what one pays for and one's values can be revealed in how one budgets. So when we look at Joe Heck's record on setting and influencing the federal budget, we see that he doesn't actually value that middle class foundation of America's economy as much as he claims to in his ads.

Also remember to contrast Joe Heck's empty rhetoric with what John Oceguera has said and done about that middle class foundation. Here's what he told the audience at the Henderson Democratic Club last night about how he demonstrates his values.

It's one thing to pay for glitzy TV ads that show happy looking seniors, smiling students, and gauzy rhetoric about "protecting the middle class". It's another to actually match one's rhetoric with one's record. And so far, Joe Heck has failed to do that. Without Medicare, Social Security, Pell Grants, unemployment insurance, SCHIP (children's health care), and so much more of the American social safety net, America's middle class couldn't exist.

Without Medicare & Social Security, many seniors would be thrown into dire poverty. Without Pell Grants and low cost federally backed student loans, many young Americans would be forced to relinquish their dreams of finishing college and embarking on a brighter economic future. And again, without the social safety net that makes America's middle class possible, we wouldn't have a middle class and we wouldn't have any hope for a stronger economy. If Joe Heck really valued that, he'd reflect those values in his (bills targeting the federal) budget.

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