September 2, 2010
The Harry Reid campaign describes Sharron Angle as extreme. Some of her statements about Social Security have been clipped from context for his campaign ads. In them she references privatization, a legitimate discussion point. Sen. Reid has stymied such discussion, and in doing so has been extremely shortsighted. He termed anxiety about Social Security solvency a myth or a manufactured crisis.
In 2005 he stated that even if the system went unchanged people would be able to draw 100 percent of their Social Security benefits for approximately the next 50 years. However, in its “Summary of the 2010 Annual Reports” the Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees reported that Social Security is expected to be paying out more benefits than collected in taxes by 2016 and the trust fund will be empty by 2037.
In April 2007, Sen. Reid remarked that our troops were losing the war in Iraq. He described the surge as unsuccessful. Some found this an extreme insult. Even those who did not, must acknowledge that Sen. Reid was extremely inaccurate.
As majority leader, Sen. Reid implemented extreme increases in federal spending and federal debt. A stimulus bill costing $787 billion passed in February 2009. On Jan. 28, 2010, the Senate voted to increase the federal debt limit to $14.3 trillion to accommodate borrowing for the remainder of 2010.
Sen. Reid placed an extreme blockade on public debate of the health care bill. Voting on its passage was scheduled before senators, and the general public, had read it. Dialogue with a citizenry eager to understand this legislation was extremely lacking.
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Those who recall the 1980 election can discern a Carteresque pattern in the extremist appellation. “Isn’t Ronald Reagan too right wing, too extreme,” the Carter campaign asked? Voters answered, “No.” Name-calling of an opponent sometimes is occasioned when a candidate’s record fails to supply solid ground for re-election. Name-calling itself cannot persuade discerning voters.