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Ryan Budget Plan At Center Of First NY-26 Debate Ryan Budget Plan At Center Of First NY-26 Debate

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Politics

Ryan Budget Plan At Center Of First NY-26 Debate

May 12, 2011
Corwin said her support for the Ryan plan and its changes to Medicare was in order to keep it solvent for future generations. She pointed to estimates that the program would run out of money by 2029. "What I'm supporting is a plan that will actually maintain benefits for people 55 and over and for people 55 and under, protect the program so it's there for future generations. It is not a voucher system - seniors can select from several different programs." Hochul called Corwin's position a "scare tactic," and argued that it was indeed a voucher program that would "essentially end Medicare" that would take America back to when the program was created in 1965. When the debate turned to tax breaks for oil companies, both candidates said they would support halting the tax credits, but Corwin cautioned that the halt should only be for large oil companies, saying there should be "competition for oil companies," and that small oil companies should still be protected. Hochul saw that as another opening to bring up the Ryan budget again, saying it "helps big oil, big corporations at the expense of our seniors." Corwin said she supported the Ryan plan because of the cuts it made in spending and to help reduce the deficit, but admitted that it could need some fixes. "It is a plan we can make some changes to, that can be tweaked, absolutely," said Corwin. Hochul pounced on Corwin's suggestion that changes could be made in a conference committee. "It's not a proposal, it was voted on," said Hochul. "It's as clear as day. It was passed by the House of Representatives." Corwin also pressed Hochul on her time on the Hamburg Town Board, when taxes went up. While Corwin argued there was "excessive spending and excessive taxes," Hochul said the ads on her record were misleading and that she had worked to cut taxes for small businesses. The moderators' allusion to Davis was brief, with each asked to defend their line of attack against the self-proclaimed Tea Party candidate. Hochul has been attacking Davis for supporting cuts to programs for seniors, but the moderator pointed out that statement was from his 2006 campaign, when he ran as a Democrat, and that he now, too, has come out against the Ryan budget. "I'm glad that Davis had a last minute conversion," said Hochul, who only said he was running an "other candidate" - and didn't mention his party affiliation back then. It's Corwin and Republicans who have been talking up Davis' Democratic past, but the moderator pointed out that Davis was, in fact, now registered as a Republican. In a rapid fire quiz of district facts and figures at the end of the debate, Corwin successfully named all the districts' counties, but each slightly missed questions on median income and agriculture production. Both did agree that former Rep. Chris Lee (R) owed the district an apology and explanation for his abrupt departure, and both also said they would propose legislation to cut congressional salaries.
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