Wednesday, April 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Garamendi’s message: Spend more

I attended Rep. John Garamendi’s town hall forum at the Davis Senior Center to learn what was being done to ensure that benefits to seniors and others would continue in some form. Presently, the federal government will not have enough money from the taxpayers to fully fund all benefits and must borrow money to make up the difference. I was hoping to hear what Garamendi was proposing to reduce federal spending and fully fund the benefits.

Instead, we were told that there was no problem with funding Social Security until 2033; that any cuts to Medicare were not done by the Democrats; and that Obamacare is going to reduce medical costs. He did not seem to think that the federal government spending or the large national debt were current problems.

He did state that if seniors wanted more spending on Medicare and other programs, they should work to help elect enough Democrats to the House, so the Democrats would be in full control of the government. We all saw what happened when that was the case from 2008 to 2010.

Garamendi told the group that the current administration is doing a good job and any problems or scandals were blamed on the Republican Party, conservatives, tea party members and/or the sequester. There was no mention of the deficit, government waste, fraud in government programs, duplication of programs, eliminating programs that were no longer effective, and government grants to unnecessary programs and to companies that go bankrupt.

I was very disappointed with the presentation and with the complete lack of any practical ideas or recommended solutions to reduce and balance the budget anytime soon. The main message from Garamendi seemed to be for more spending and the Democrats would be happy to do that. It appeared that a majority of the audience agreed.

I remember when President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you … ask what you can do for your country.” What happened to that way of thinking in this country?

Travie J. Westlund

Davis

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 4 comments

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  • John Troidl, MBA, PhDJune 12, 2013 - 11:25 am

    Yes, I was a bit surprised that Garamendi did not say more about reducing government costs, like the very successful Obama administration pursuit of crooks committing Medicare fraud. We have clearly known for a couple of years now that President Obama has done a much more vigorous job of pursuing Medicare fraud than any of his predecessors. For example, this article from 2011 in USA Today headlined: "Health care fraud prosecutions on pace to rise 85%". http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/story/2011-08-29/Health-care-fraud-prosecutions-on-pace-to-rise-85/50180282/1 More current articles continue to show that the Obama Administration continues to benefit Seniors (and all Americans) by great success in prosecuting Medicare fraud. Perhaps Congressman Garamendi simply did not have enough time to share ALL of the many benefits that members of his party (Democrats) are bringing to the voters/citizens/seniors in our area. I, for one, would be interested in an even longer Town Hall Meeting next time. This one was only an hour. If it had been longer I would have learned more. Of course that learning requires you to keep your ears and mind open at this kind of meeting and that way you might actually learn something like I did! Thanks again, Congressman Garamendi!

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  • MarkJune 16, 2013 - 6:34 am

    "I remember when President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you … ask what you can do for your country.” What happened to that way of thinking in this country?" I was wondering that as I read your piece. You seem more concerned about cutting government spending than insuring that people have access to medical care.

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  • Sean H. AdamsJune 16, 2013 - 2:31 pm

    There is some truth in both this letter and the subsequent letter and subsequent comment by Dr. Troidl. Unfortunately, however, the comment fails to acknowledge the immorality of excessive debt that puts the financial health of critical social welfare programs at risk. I don't consider spending 40 cents on the dollar toward payment of our national debt (vs. using that money to help the poor or for education or...) among the "benefits that members of his party (Democrats) are bringing to the voters/citizens/seniors in our area" as Dr. Troidl alludes to. Most of us feel strongly that the most vulnerable should be protected as Priority 1, and that this aim should be paid for by trimming other areas of government that are not mission-critical. As a non-partisan voter, I'm struggling to find a reason to cheerlead for Mr. Garamendi.

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  • jkJune 18, 2013 - 5:59 am

    Good to hear Garamendi isn't pandering to the Tea crowd who like the letter writer demands their benefits be left untouched and to balance the budget now, even if soc sec and medicare make up almost half of the federal budget. Oh, don't touch Defense and cut taxes. Then they vote for politicians that promise to "reform" these programs out of existence for the next generation. Truly "what can you do for me, to hell with everyone else" type of mentality, unlike what JFK said.

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