The incident took place in April of last year at a town hall meeting in Milton, Wisconsin and was posted by ThinkProgress.
During a town hall meeting a constituent who described himself as a “lifelong conservative” asked Ryan about the effects of growing income inequality in our nation, noting that huge income disparities contributed to the Great Depression and the Great Recession. The gentleman went on to ask why the congressman was “fighting to not let the tax breaks for the wealthy expire.”
After Ryan argued argued against “redistributing in this manner” the questioner went on to note that “there’s nothing wrong with taxing the top because it does not trickle down,” Ryan stated “we do tax the top.”
This response earned a chorus of boos from the audience.
You can see for yourself in the video below. The audio is a bit difficult to follow so the transcript is provided beneath the video.
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.