Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) faced a town-hall audience angry over the Republicans’ holding debt ceiling negotiations hostage over their refusal to cut taxes for the rich. Instead, Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has stated that he won't raise the debt level without cuts to such programs as Medicare and Medicaid. Attendees asked Dent why he wouldn’t agree to raise taxes for the wealthy to Clinton levels. Watch:
Constituent: Three percent, we’re just saying, three percent that they gave in 2001, ask those wealthy people who have been doing great, who are doing better than anyone else. Just ask them to give their fair share. That’s all these middle class people are saying. Don’t saddle us with all of it.
Dent: I meant to ask you, what should the income tax rate be since you want to raise the income tax.
Constituent: I think it’s fair to say, put the wealthy tax rates back to where they were before 2001. Not a big deal.
Dent: Which rates are you referring to? Seriously–
Constituent: Thirty nine to thirty five percent–
Dent: You just want to raise the rates straight up.
Constituent: On the wealthiest people! To fix our fiscal problems.
Dent: That’s small businesses in many cases– [audience boos]
Constituent: You guys are protecting your sacred cows. Your oil company subsidies, everybody understands that. Just take ‘em, they don’t need them. The tax cuts for the extremely wealthy, they’re doing great, they don’t need them. You can’t come to us and say, ‘We’re going to take your Medicare away because we don’t think it’s working for you.’ [...] That’s why your boys [Republican leadership] are walking out of the room. They say take these off the table. Tell Mr. Cantor to put them back on the table. (h/t: Think Progress)