Can we call this a national phenomenon yet?
Yet another House GOPer, Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania, got an earful at a town hall from constituents angry over Paul Ryan’s plan to end Medicare as we know it, reports the local Press Enterprise:
Barletta supports Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which would change Medicare for those under 55. They would choose a private plan, and the government would pay an average of $15,000 toward it, Barletta said.
But a good portion of the crowd did not see the issue in Barletta’s terms.
One man raised a sign asking: “Why did you vote to abolish Medicare?”
When Barletta was speaking about the U.S. having a tax structure that’s “not business friendly,” Nancy Schott yelled out “Bull----! No one pays them!”
Schott, Bloomsburg, gave the example of General Electric, which paid no U.S. taxes in 2010 despite having worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, according to the New York Times. Schott then walked out of the meeting.
And then Richard Whitmire of Danville stood up and told Barletta to admit, “We don’t have a debt crisis, we have a revenue crisis that was caused by the Bush recession.”
This is the second time Barletta has taken heat over Ryan’s plan, and at least eight other House GOPers have also found themselves taking criticism from angry constituents. Meanwhile, voters in three GOP-controlled districts in Arkansas have voiced concerns that Ryan’s plan would either end Medicare or transform its mission so fundamentally that it will no longer be recognizable — echoing the Dem message.
We’re still far from Tea Party levels of voter anger, but every one of these episodes contributes to the national media narrative Dems and liberal groups are working so hard to build. And Democrats are looking for new ways to stoke the fires: Senate Dem leaders are planning to force a vote on the Ryan plan in order to put vulnerable GOP Senators on the spot, in hopes that some Senators, too, could find themselves on the receiving end of constituent anger.
Relatedly, please let me know what you’re seeing in your states and districts along these lines.