It appears the GOP plan for slashing budgets isn’t receiving the warmest of welcomes from its constituents. Earlier in the week, a town hall audience booed Representative Paul Ryan when he defended tax breaks for the rich.
That backlash was one of several town hall meeting eruptions that occurred across the country. Freshmen Representatives Robert Dold (R-IL) and Charlie Bass (R-NH) both received hostile greetings from citizens of their respective states. Dole caught flack for supporting corporate tax breaks and voting to end Medicare:
But Dold couldn’t even get to the end of the presentation before audience members began peppering him with questions about the Ryan budget, named after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin. It began with audience members telling Dold they don’t believe chopping 10 percentage points off the highest corporate tax rate will create jobs. A handful of people in the audience identified themselves as business owners and accountants who said their effective corporate income tax rate is already lower than the lowest rates proposed in the Ryan plan. They pointed to companies such as GE that pay almost no taxes despite billions in profits as evidence….
Some in the audience then told Dold they don’t like the idea in the Ryan budget plan of Medicare becoming a voucher program that makes senior citizens buy private health insurance about 10 years from now. Audience members said buying private insurance is a shell game where no one really knows what costs a company will cover or to what degree.
Bass received a similar response in Hillsborough, NH.
Representative Charlie Bass knew he was in for a rough night. The first question out of the gate during his Wednesday town hall in Hillsborough, NH was about his vote for Paul Ryan’s budget. And the second. And the third and the fourth, fifth and sixth questions. “I enjoyed the discourse,” he said, almost hopefully, afterward. “It’s important to speak with people who disagree with me. Of course there was going to be backlash.”
It’s no surprise that the residents of New Hampshire are up in arms over their state’s cuts. Hundreds of people protested at the Statehouse on Thursday in response to the state’s plan to cut 48 percent or $4.5 million in grants to community health centers that employ a thousand individuals and care for 125,000 people.
Deb Drobysh of Nashua pleaded to restore $1 million in cuts to Medicaid in-home support services essential for Juliet, 11, who is blind, suffers from cerebral palsy and has global developmental delays.…
A wheelchair-bound, Anthony Dubois, 35, of Nashua, said as someone with muscular dystrophy, diabetes and assisted breathing apparatus, he could end up in a nursing home if cuts remain to Service Link Resource Centers, incontinence and durable medical equipment supplies.
However, the adverse receptions don’t end with state-level leadership. President Obama was greeted with protests when he arrived in Los Angeles Thursday afternoon for fund-raisers in connection with his re-election bid. The protests represented an eclectic blend of causes: advocating immigration-law reform and recognition of the Armenian genocide, and denouncing the US intervention in Libya and, of course, federal budget cuts.
Inside a $35,800-per-plate fund-raiser at the St. Regis hotel, the president was confronted with protesters singing, “Where’s Our Change?”
Meanwhile, in the very much still on fire state of Texas, the city of Houston is firing hundreds of firefighters. The budget crunch could result in the termination of 181 police officers and 445 civilian employees, as well.