Things are heating up over in New York’s 6th Congressional District.
Assemblyman Rory Lancman started things off by criticizing his two rivals for the Democratic nomination, Assemblyman Grace Meng and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, over their Social Security positions. His campaign mailer hitting households in the district focused on Ms. Meng in particular, accusing her of supporting slashed benefits.
Well, it seems that Ms. Meng’s campaign has had enough of that, and they put out a long statement entitled, “Rory Lancman’s Honesty Problem.”
“For the second time in as many weeks, Rory Lancman’s campaign is attempting to deceive the voters,” Ms. Meng’s press secretary Austin Finan wrote, going into detail about how Ms. Meng actually supports strengthening Social Security.
In the statement, which you can read below, Mr. Finan also blasts Mr. Lancman’s own plan to have high-income earners pay more into the Social Security system as “playing Russian roulette with working families amidst a fragile economy” and “simply bad, reckless policy.”
Update: See Mr. Lancman’s response at the bottom of this post.
(Meanwhile, it seems Ms. Crowley has the opportunity to keep her head down in the whole affair.)
Rory Lancman’s Honesty Problem
For the second time in as many weeks, Rory Lancman’s campaign is attempting to deceive the voters of the newly drawn 6th Congressional District.
So, let’s be clear about the facts concerning the debate over Social Security:
- Grace Meng has proposed a clear-cut solution that protects taxpayers in the immediate, while keeping Social Security solvent down the road.
- Grace Meng’s plan entails not immediately raising taxes on middle class families making $110,600 during this period of economic recovery. Rather, Grace Meng has proposed a small increase of the FICA ceiling in the three years. We must allow our economy and the stability of middle-class families the time they need to grow and recover while still addressing the issue of social security on a clear timeline. We can protect social security and allow for economic growth in the middle-class if we make prudent decisions.
- Grace Meng has reiterated this plan on numerous occasions.
- Rory Lancman’s plan calls for an immediate tax hike on Queens residents making $110,600 a year.
Rory Lancman’s rhetoric about being a champion of the middle-class is grossly hypocritical given his plan to immediately raise taxes on middle-class families earning $110,600 a year. This is what his Social Security “plan” entails.
Rory Lancman is playing Russian roulette with working families amidst a fragile economy. This is not in the interest of the middle-class, it is not a sensible solution to Social Security and it is simply bad, reckless policy.
Grace Meng believes our seniors deserve one-hundred percent of the benefits they are entitled to and is acutely aware of the serious, structural problem facing Social Security. That is exactly why she has proposed the best and most pragmatic solution for ensuring the program’s long-term solvency – a plan that includes raising the FICA ceiling within the next three years when there is more significant economic improvement, but not now, while the economy is in such a precarious state.
In a statement issued yesterday, Grace Meng said: “We have a serious, structural problem with Social Security. Anyone who contends that we can merely grow our way out of the problem either misunderstands it or misrepresents it for political purposes. Under no circumstances could growth itself solve this problem; that is a fact. On the other hand, it would be imprudent to raise taxes on those earning $110,000 while the economy is weak and possibly slowing. The first step to the solution is to raise the FICA ceiling within the next three years when there is more significant economic improvement, but not now, while the economy is in such a precarious state.”
The Lancman campaign’s response, via its spokesman Eric Walker:
The Meng campaign is apparently outraged that its candidate is expected to understand that Social Security is in crisis, and that she has to put forth a plan to save it. The video of Meng’s debate answer on Social Security speaks for itself, but for further proof of Meng’s lack of understanding of the urgency of the Social Security crisis and lack of plan for solving it, one need only look to her comments in today’s Times/Ledger newspaper:
“Under no circumstances could growth itself solve this problem. That is a fact,” Meng said in a statement. “On the other hand, it would be imprudent to raise taxes on those earning $110,000 while the economy is weak and possibly slowing.”
Meng has said on several occasions that reforming Social Security is a complicated issue, but that job growth could help and that there is no need to panic.
In an interview with TimesLedger Newspapers this spring, she said “we have enough funds in there until 2033 …. It is not something that is disappearing next year.”
That’s why the Queens Chronicle, which strongly endorsed Lancman today, observed that neither Meng nor Crowley bring “the experience, knowledge of policy or force of will to the table that Lancman does.”