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Spending time with Stefanik

March 23, 2017
Lake Placid News

To the editor:

I was with a group of ten constituents who met with Rep. Elise Stefanik on Friday, March 3 in her Glens Falls office, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to speak with her. However, in the interest of transparency, I'm disappointed that she will not meet with her constituents in town hall meetings.

We discussed too many topics to cover in one letter, but here are some important highlights.

I asked Ms. Stefanik what she would do to get Trump to release his taxes since during her re-election campaign she stated that he should do so. She replied, "I'm going to lead by example (referring to the release of her own taxes) and look at all legislation." Earlier in the week, however, Stefanik did not support a bill in the House which would have forced Trump to release his tax returns. This is deeply concerning. If she can't be trusted to stand by her original statement on this issue, how can we trust her, as a member of the House Intelligence Committee, to do the right thing when it comes to a full investigation of Trump's ties to Russia? Her hypocrisy on the issue of Trump's taxes ought to prompt her to support a non-partisan investigation, and not leave it in the hands of a highly partisan congress.

When asked about lowering taxes on corporations and the top income earners in this country, Stefanik said she was in favor of anything that would help these "job creators." I have seen no evidence to suggest that these individuals or corporations create jobs when given tax incentives. When asked if she had any data to support her conclusions, she said "Yes. I'll send it to you." If she is convinced that trickle down economic models are an effective way to support the middle and working classes, I'd like to think she should have been able to provide that information without hesitation. Incidentally, in the course of our discussion on the economy, Stefanik also said she was in favor of lowering the pass through tax, which would, for example, lower Donald Trump's taxes by seven million dollars a year (assuming he pays any taxes at all). Her answers to questions on the economy are not favorable to the middle and working class members of this district.

With regard to education, Stefanik said she doesn't support HR 610 (Choices in Education Act) and supported full funding of public schools, but in the same breath said she fully supported directing federal education dollars that normally go to public education to private schools - which is one of the things HR 610 proposes to do. She stated she supports school vouchers in general, but not for this district. Which is it? Will she vote in the best interest of her constituents? Or will she vote along party lines? It bears close watching.

I hope to continue this dialogue with Ms. Stefanik in the future, and appreciate the time spent with us. I encourage all of your readers to do the same.

Barbara Miner

Hudson Falls



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