Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), architect of the House GOP’s budget, drew a resounding chorus of boos at a town hall appearance in his district after touting the benefits of tax cuts for the wealthy.
In a video posted by ThinkProgress, an attendee at the event this week told Ryan that he believes the rich should pay higher taxes to help close the deficit and strengthen Social Security.
“The middle class is disappearing right now,” he said. “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?”
Ryan protested that “We do tax the top,” before being drowned out by the audience’s jeers.
Polls have shown increasing taxes on the wealthy enjoys strong public support across the political spectrum despite near-universal opposition from GOP lawmakers. Democrats have been hammering Republicans on the issue in recent weeks, jumping off Ryan’s budget proposal, which cuts taxes for the rich while making major cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.