As Greece continues to grapple with a crippling economic crisis, a local congressman insists the problem should serve as a warning to the U.S.
Congressman Tom Reed, a Southern Tier Republican who represents the Jamestown region and other communities, insisted that while the two nations are vastly different in size, they have practiced the same brand of risky spending and borrowing.
“The fundamental policy what I would view as extreme liberal progressive policy that is relying on excessive government spending and big Government borrowing to meet its needs, it’s a relative scale issue but it’s the same at its core,” Reed said.
In issuing the warning, Reed suggested that a similar crisis could be avoided if the U.S follows practices outlined in his Strategic National Agenda. They include new job creation efforts, spending cuts and reforms to key entitlement programs, including Social Security. He says the nation must find new ways to create jobs.
“One of the opportunities we have right in our backyard is an energy renaissance and rebirth that leads to a manufacturing rebirth that allows manufactures to be competitive and make their products here on American soil and that’s something I’m a big believer in, make it here to sell it there,” Reed said.
Reed argued that the fiscal crisis isn’t limited to Greece, noting that Puerto Rico faces similar problems.
He urged Congress to find common ground for what he called "real reform." Reed points to the elimination of wasteful spending as playing a key role in preventing a similar fiscal crisis that Greece is experiencing.
“When you see a VA hospital that had an original $100 million budget being built in the Denver area for over $1 billion, that type of abuse, that type of waste that type of overrun and inefficient government use is something we should all be able to join hands on and say that’s not acceptable, that’s not a good use of hardworking taxpayer’s dollars. And let’s start there because those small victories will lead to bigger victories.”
Reed's comments came in the same week that a former military aide in the Obama administration announced plans to challenge Reed in the 23rd Congressional District. John Plumb, a Jamestown native who was raised in Randolph, served as a Department of Defense official and staff member on the National Security Council. He previously served as a submarine officer in the Navy.
"Across our district, I've heard too many families who feel Washington just isn't listening to rural communities of Western New York, the Southern Tier and the Finger Lakes region -- and they right," Plumb said in a written statement. "Year after year, our middle class and working families find it harder and harder to get ahead, and our small cities and towns are feeling increasingly left behind."
A statement released by Plumb's campaign said he previously served as principal director of nuclear and missile defense policy at the Department of Defense before becoming director of defense policy and strategy on the National Security Council staff. He holds an undergraduate degree in physics and a PhD in aerospace engineering.
"The 23rd district deserves a representative with the courage to put our region and our country before politics," Plumb stated. "That's what I've done my entire career: put ideology aside and worked together for the best interests of our country."