The Time Paul Ryan Was Booed By His Own Constituents (Video)

Paul Ryan thinks he can unite House Republicans, yet he has a proven history of not getting along with his own constituents.

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin announced Tuesday night that he would run for Speaker of the House provided his Republican colleagues meet several conditions, prompting us to take a look at his files.

It seems interesting that Ryan seems to think he has the capability of fixing the dysfunction within the House of Representatives, considering he seems either unable or unwilling to take care of his own backyard.

A perfect case in point is the time he and his wife openly mocked protesters concerned about jobs during a Labor Day parade in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin.

In April 2011, Ryan was booed at a town hall meeting in his own congressional district for defending tax breaks for the wealthy.

As Think Progress reported at the time: “a constituent who described himself as a “lifelong conservative” asked Ryan about the effects of growing income inequality.”

“The middle class is disappearing right now,” he stated, adding: “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 responded that while he did not “disagree with the premise” of what he was saying, “the question is what’s the best way to do this.”

There was some cross-talk, during which Ryan argued against that kind of  redistribution.

The constituent responded that: “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.”

“We do tax the top,” Ryan replied drawing a chorus of boos from the crowd.

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… [Cross Talk]

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]

RYAN: 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.

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Samuel Warde

Samuel is a writer, social activist, and all-around troublemaker.
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