Like more than 50 others, I was refused entry to the town hall meeting of Rep. Patrick McHenry [10th Congressional District] on Wednesday, Aug. 1, due to the deliberately poor planning of McHenry’s team. This letter is directed for him as well as my fellow District 10 residents.
By way of background, I have a child in elementary school who wants to be a dentist. Her education will cost well over $100,000, and the cost of establishing a practice often surpasses $250,000. Tuition rates never stop rising, and they’re outpacing inflation. That burden is too large for her to take on by herself or for us to fund.
We would like to save for her, but GOP budgets force us to take a hard look at our future. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which McHenry supported, will force Social Security to significantly reduce benefits, by more than 20 percent, in 2034 with cuts to Medicare required even sooner. The proposed House GOP 2019 budget shortens that timeline for cuts. Accordingly, we can’t count on Social Security and Medicare, the systems we’re paying into right now, to pay out for us. This forces us to choose between saving for our own retirement and saving for our child’s education.
We need a twofold approach to this disaster. [McHenry’s] opponent, David Wilson Brown, has committed to working for debt-free college education. Brown also committed to keeping Social Security and Medicare intact. Each of Brown’s proposals will put middle- and lower-class families in significantly better positions than they are now. Will you, my current representative, commit to doing the same? If not, I hope that others in my situation will reach the same conclusion I have, which is that we must show up at the polls on Nov. 6 to vote for David Wilson Brown.
Disappointed in Buncombe County,
― Rebecca Crandall
Editor’s note: Xpress contacted Rep. McHenry’s Washington office about the letter writer’s complaint about his recent town hall meeting at the Riceville Community Center, and we received the following response from his spokesman, Jeff Butler: “Since he was first elected, Congressman McHenry has committed to holding annual town hall meetings for each county in his district, and after holding six this year, he’s now hosted over 100 town hall meetings during his tenure. The congressman and his staff make every effort to hold these town hall meetings at times and locations that are convenient for his constituents to attend. At the specific town hall meeting the writer references, Congressman McHenry took questions for nearly two and a half hours. While some attendees were initially not allowed in due to the building being at its capacity under the fire code, all those who remained in line were ultimately able to enter and participate.”
Information about McHenry’s position on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 can be found at avl.mx/587.