If real authentic Kansas representatives and senators really had authentic town meetings… they would look like the meeting that Meehan and Ryan have faced. Check out those meetings and the repercussions for Republicans in other states.
Notice that the people don’t buy trickle-on-us theories of political economy and they are for a much better redistribution of wealth.–KAS
At town hall meetings across the country, House Republicans are taking heat for choosing to end Medicare and raise health care costs for seniors, rather than ending taxpayer giveaways for Big Oil companies making record profits or tax breaks for the ultra rich.
Check it out for yourself:
Paul Ryan’s budget draws boos, highlights risk to GOP [Los Angeles Times]
“Rep. Paul Ryan, the face of the GOP’s efforts to scale back the size of the federal government and trim the federal deficit, was booed by some Wisconsin constituents this week, but not for the reason you might think. Ryan’s budget plan, as overwhelmingly approved by the House, would convert Medicare into a program which would provide seniors with subsidies to purchase private health insurance. But as Ryan returned home along with the other 240 Republican members to explain the budget blueprint to voters, he received heat not for the Medicare proposal, but for his call to cut taxes for wealthy Americans.” [LA Times, 4/21/11]
Freshman Congressman faces tough crowd back home, after budget vote [CNN]
“In the suburbs of Philadelphia, freshman Congressman Patrick Meehan is spending his day running around his district, answering questions from his constituents. […] Meehan was asked about entitlement reform and Medicare at nearly every town hall he went to. Some of his constituents say they’re worried about proposed Republican reforms to the Medicare system. “Reform usually means cutting benefits, if it’s cutting benefits, no, I do not want that,” says constituent Bette Popiel.” [CNN, 4/21/11]
Reminiscent of the August 2009 town halls when members of Congress faced angry constituents over health care reforms, a public forum in Carbon County with Rep. Lou Barletta Wednesday night provided a glimpse of the strong emotions stirred by a Republican plan to alter Medicare benefits.
At the start of his town hall meeting — in a county that is predominately Republican-leaning and 17 percent over 65 years old — Barletta welcomed people to use the conversation to get things off their chests. While he was going through a slide projector presentation about the Medicare changes proposed by House Republican Paul Ryan, a woman raised her hand. (Updated: Carbon County actually has more Democrats registered, but has leaned Republican in the last few election cycles.)
“Excuse me, I’d like to get something off my chest,” she said, standing. “You seem to think that because I’m not effected I won’t care if my niece, my grandson, my child is affected. I do care. What you’re doing with this Ryan budget is you’re taking Medicare and changing it from a guaranteed health care system to one that is a voucher system where you throw seniors on the mercy of for-profit insurance companies…”
“You said nothing in the campaign about I’m going to change Medicare, now you voted for a plan that will destroy Medicare,” Linda Christman, 64, said. Christman is president of the Carbon County Democrats for Change, according to Barletta’s office.
“I won’t destroy Medicare, Medicare is going to be destroyed by itself,” Barletta said.
Then it got ugly.
Christman talked over Barletta saying, “I have a great way for you…take the tax cuts given to the wealthy two percent…and put it into Medicare”
Two men in the back began yelling at her, “Sit down, let him talk, sit down.” This prompted another man in a blue Hawaiian shirt to bolt to his feet, turn to the men in the back and yell, “Why don’t’ you make me sit down? Maybe you don’t believe in free speech? Why don’t you show some respect?”
“Make me, make me.”
This went on intermittently with a lot of angry name calling and yelling until the man in the Hawaiian shirt was escorted out by police.
You can listen to part of the exchange. Christman begins talking around 5:55.