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January 31, 2015

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Heck dodges Social Security questions at forum


Rep. Joe Heck speaks to Veterans at the American Legion Post 40 in Henderson on Wednesday, June 8, 2011.

Joe Heck Veterans Town Hall

Rep. Joe Heck speaks to Veterans at the American Legion Post 40 in Henderson on Wednesday, June 8, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Joe Heck town hall

KSNV coverage of town hall meeting featuring U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, June 8, 2011.

Republican Rep. Joe Heck on Wednesday was more than happy to answer questions about high school sporting events and Disney’s plans to trademark the “SEAL Team 6” name, but he refused to answer any substantive questions about Social Security.

Heck, who has represented Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District since November, spoke to about 75 constituents at a town hall meeting in Henderson. He took 30 questions from the audience and had time to spare before the scheduled end of the meeting, but he refused to go into depth about his positions on Social Security.

All he would say on the topic was, “I’m there to preserve those benefits for future generations.”

Heck and his staff were clearly in damage-control mode after the congressman came under fire for calling the federal social welfare program a “pyramid scheme.” He made the comment during a town hall last month.

It gained national attention, and Heck backtracked by saying he misspoke. He even distributed fliers to explain his comments.

But Tuesday while on a radio show, Heck repeated the offending comment. He told a caller who described Social Security as a pyramid scheme that he was “exactly right.”

At the town hall meeting Wednesday, a reporter again asked Heck about his pyramid scheme comments during the public question-and-answer portion of the event. Heck refused to answer.

“I’ve given my stance on Social Security,” he said. “I’m not going to comment on that question.”

Because the forum was held at an American Legion hall, Heck said he would answer only questions related to veterans’ issues. Social Security arguably falls into that category, but Heck wouldn’t budge, even though an announcement advertising the event, posted Monday on Facebook, listed Social Security, Medicare and Veterans Affairs as the main topics for discussion.

Still, Heck took many other off-topic questions.

A casino worker wanted information about housing and foreclosures. Heck referred her to his staff.

A man offended by high-school sports teams that don’t take the field for the National Anthem asked Heck what could be done. Heck agreed that it was disrespectful.

A man complained about Disney trying to buy the rights to then name “SEAL Team 6.” Heck explained that the request had been withdrawn. The answer elicited cheers from the audience, the first and only of the night.

The assembled veterans didn’t seem upset by Heck’s refusal to clarify his Social Security stance. They were more concerned with getting answers about benefits and combat pay.

Heck spokesman Darren Littell insisted that Heck has been consistent in his views about Social Security.

“He’s never changed his position,” Littell said. “He admits he used a poor choice of words. But people are over-analyzing things. It’s being twisted. He stated his position several times, and there’s nothing left to say.”

Heck apparently agrees. Despite telling the audience that he would stay to address additional questions, Heck ran into a private room when approached by reporters at the end of the town hall.

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  1. logic...
    very illogical of you to bash Titus with the same old tired rhetoric, while accusing the Sun of hammering Heck.
    Heck stuck his foot in it, and ala Angle he cannot stop himself from making it worse.
    Heck is in office, NOW.
    Titus is not.
    Why you guys can't let it be is...beyond me.
    What Dina Titus does for a hundred grand at UNLV is likely worth every penny, regardless of how many classes she teaches.
    But then, I don't expect a lot of TeaTimers would unnerstand that.

  2. Awwww... all the little GOP stooges are mad Joe Heck's being held accountable for his two-faced flip-flopping!

    Poor Joe... we were told the parents would be in charge once he got elected, unfortunately, all we got was this waffling buffoon.

    If he loses next year, I'm sure he'll blame it on redistricting, but it's clear he can't decide what his own policy position is on Social Security. Maybe the voters will make up his mind for him!

  3. Coupons to buy your own Medicare from your lovable Private Insuarances company and Joe Heck Votes for it. The he calls it a Pyramid (Ponzi) scheme. Then he runs out the side door to avoid questions? Like Sharon Angle - and we should go easy on him?
    He asked for the job and so far he looks like a dithering Idiot. He is not an M.D. he is a D.O.D.O.

  4. very well said mred very well said.

  5. "Social Security only works if there is a base that is ever growing.

    The population must grow.

    The base is not growing fast enough. " Rock i got 12 million new applicants for social security . when can we sign them up?

  6. When new investors are brought in to support the older investors, this is called a Ponzi scheme. The most recent schemer to be caught was Madoff.

    I don't see how Social Security is unlike other Ponzi schemes other than the government is behind it.

    Someone please explain to me the difference.

  7. All the Heck supporters come out and try to rationally describe that in fact he is indeed correct in saying that Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme" and "a pyramid scheme."

    Are you people nuts?!?!?

    Let's go back in history. America went through the worst economic catastrophe ever to happen in our history. Millions of people lost everything and had to dig through the trash to survive. In that period of desolation, which was only corrected because of a World War, many, many people died from neglect, starvation, disease, and a host of other problems that are pretty much unheard of in this day and age.

    Social Security was created in order to make sure that people never had to scrounge for food if that ever happened again. People taking care of people. The Government at that time did it's best to fix an incredible problem that America faced. It was created to make America better. It wasn't created in order to commit a felony.

    On the other hand, Mr. Ponzi was the first person to ever willfully with clear intent, perform criminal mischief by manufacturing a false postage stamp scheme that was bound to fail from the beginning, and known to fail from inception, all so he could get rich; a clearcut, and possibly the first instance of, a pyramid scheme. He was prosecuted for it.

    Social Security was not created as a criminal enterprise. Apples and oranges when you compare that to Mr. Ponzi. No amount of Republican re-write of history will change that.

    You people defending Heck's position and saying he's right are completely and utterly ridiculous for backing up his position. And what's funny is the fact that by backing him up, you are pretty much saying you are as idiotic as he is in making false allegations like that. Heck seems to be heavy on the propaganda, but pretty much lacking in the facts.

    The truth of the matter is that my Congressman (Heck) has the most extreme positions regarding Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. And that, coupled with his stupid idea of agreeing to the Yucca Mountain Project wherein Nevada gets totally screwed and accepts tons and tons of national nuclear waste, all for the sake of short term money, makes him totally and completely unelectable in the future.

    I want to get rid of him. And everyone else should too.

    He's not for Nevada.

    He's for the Republican Party. He's for greed. He only wants power, and if he has to step all over you to get it, then that's perfectly acceptable. Speaker Boehner has a new lapdog. His name is Heck.

    Don't believe me? Look at his deplorable record in only 154 or so days in this 112th Congress. He votes according to what the Speaker says every single time. Not Nevada.

    Heck is a goner. Nevada deserves better.

  8. Social security has over 13 trillion dollars of IOU'S from congress to fight wars in the past if the Government would just pay that back then I would be certain that that money would grow at a rate that would make it more than solvent, The problem is there is no solution that involves the borrowers to repay it back, But currently it is not added 1 Dollar to the deficit not one.

    And Mr. Heck knows back when the program started it was not intended to be the war chest for the Government Don't leave that out.

  9. The real ponzi Scheme is the fact the republicans are engaged in a criminal enterprise to convince the public to hand over there safety net and they are not giving anything back in return, Ask them if they will quit the withholding from your check. Don't expect a clear answer on that question. Here's a noble republican concept how about doing nothing it will correct it's self.

  10. NoMorePC: "Please tell us what the difference(s) is/are between Madoff and Social Security."

    Mr. Madoff built a financial empire all based upon a lie, and he had criminal intentions to get investor money for himself. Subsequently caught when discovered. It fell down around his ears like a house of cards. Prosecuted. Imprisoned for life.

    Social Security was created as a result of the Great Depression. At the time, clearly a level headed solution for America to take care of people who were aged, infirm and/or no longer capable of working. People taking care of people. A fix to the unfair treatment for seniors and others.

    The key difference between Mr. Madoff and the creation of Social Security is the criminal intent.

    "Social Security is most assuredly doomed to failure..."

    You are making an assumption based only upon an agenda.

    It has been wildly popular and has quite a few trillion dollars that will last for quite a few more decades. Even after that, it is guaranteed it can pay at least 75% of everyone's claims.

    There is time to work within the system of Social Security to improve it and head off problems in the future.

    I'm so tired of the Republican Party warped priorities. They say we MUST address this now. Not because it needs to be fixed, but because they are trying to destroy Social Security NOW. They only see a chance to go after it for their own gain.

    It cannot be denied. The Republicans absolutely HATE Social Security and, all through the years, have done anything and everything to throw monkey wrenches in the gears of a vital, efficiently run and wildly popular system. The see an opening to fool people so they will vote against their best wishes.

    Republicans love to paint this as an "entitlement," a "privilege," something that can be played around with.

    It's not.

    It's an institution. It's carved in stone. People like for it to continue. And contrary to their beliefs, the American people are uninterested in their continual game where they sacrifice the middle class to suffer and give it to the filthy rich.

    Congressman Heck and all those other brain dead Republicans need to continue their attacks on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. As a matter of fact, I encourage it.

    Because next elections, they will surely be called out for their idiotic stances. And they will be slapped out of power left and right.

    I guarantee the Republican Party will disappear overnight if they even make a move at these systems. And they know it. That's why it's all talk now. Because they know if they put their grubby mitts on these vital programs, they will end up committing political suicide.

    The American people had enough of this shenanigans.

    The people of Nevada already see Heck as toast for his stance. He's on record and it will bite him in in front of the Hilton is pretty green from all that watering, isn't it?