Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget proposal is aimed at abolishing Medicare and Medicaid and reducing the top tax rate from 35% to 25%–amounting to a huge transfer of wealth to the wealthy. Speaking at a town hall meeting in southern Wisconsin, Ryan was booed after a constituent who described himself as a “lifelong conservative” noted the nation’s growing income gap and wondered why he was “fighting not to let the tax breaks for the wealthy expire.” Watch:
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. (h/t: Think Progress)
According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy will affect less than three percent of small businesses. It should also be noted that raising taxes on the wealthy enjoys strong public support.