Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), of House budget “Path to Prosperity” infamy got himself booed at a town hall appearance in the town of Milton, which is in his own district. His support for tax cuts for the rich wasn’t selling. Imagine that, people tired of paying their hard-earned money to support the lifestyles of the rich and shameless.
A man in the crowd, who identified himself as a lifelong conservative, spoke for the vast majority of Americans when he said, quite truthfully, “The middle class is disappearing right now. During this time of prosperity, the top 1 percent was taking about 10 percent of the total annual income, but yet today we are fighting to not let the tax breaks for the wealthy expire?”
Ryan tried to fob him off with the standard reply, a reply as dishonest as the man’s statement was honest: “We do tax the top.” The crowd didn’t let him get any further before they drowned his lying voice out with boos.
CONSTITUENT: The middle class is disappearing right now. During this time of prosperity, the top 1 percent was taking about 10 percent of the total annual income, but yet today we are fighting to not let the tax breaks for the wealthy expire? And we’re fighting to not raise the Social Security cap from $87,000? I think we’re wrong.
RYAN: A couple things. I don’t disagree with the premise of what you’re saying. The question is what’s the best way to do this. Is it to redistribute… (Crosstalk)
CONSTITUENT: You have to lower spending. But it’s a matter of there’s nothing wrong with taxing the top because it does not trickle down.
RYAN: We do tax the top. (Audience boos). Let’s remember, most of our jobs come from successful small businesses. Two-thirds of our jobs do. You got to remember, businesses pay taxes individually. So when you raise their tax rates to 44.8 percent, which is what the president is proposing, I would just fundamentally disagree. That is going to hurt job creation.
The question arising here is this: why is taxation of the wealthy abhorred by Tea Partier and Republican alike as “redistribution of wealth” but not the taxation of the working class? Any taxation is by its very nature a redistribution of wealth. To pretend there is any difference is absurd. And it looks like even conservatives may be coming to realize this.
There may be hope for America after all if the corporate anti-tax mantra comes a cropper in the Koch oligarchy’s heartland.