The Ryandian "Path to Corporate Prosperity" tour isn't making many people any happier, but at least some are getting to tell the congressman that. TMJ4 and CBS 58:
tmj4: In Greenfield 600 showed up to listen and occasionally debate the Congressman ... Ryan has held more than 500 listening session in his career, but they are usually not this big or feisty.
"Let me make a point," said Steve Jozefczyk as some booed him.
Ryan repeated his plan … Ryan called on more people who disagreed with him, especially on taxes.
"If you reduce the rate for top earners by 10% to 25% you have that much less to help with the problem," said one man in the audience.
"The top one percent of wage earners get almost all the tax deductions, "said Ryan. "If you shrink or take away these tax shelters you can lower the tax rates for everybody."
That still doesn't make sense, no matter how many times he says it; Ryan takes away tax shelters that the middle class use as well, but then negates the tax gain, by lowering the tax bracket by 10 percent. That’s not deficit reduction. But there's more:
Ryan clicked through his slides until he found a chart showing that tax rates have little impact on revenues and the real revenue driver is economic growth.
When rates are too high, he told the largely disbelieving crowd, people hide their income and don't invest and businesses can't compete with foreign rivals.
"You'll shut down the economy if you just keep trying to whack up tax rates," Ryan insisted.
Teacher Kathleen MacAvaney, 48, was among those who didn't buy it. She told Ryan that he's forgetting his roots and asked him to consider a plan presented by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party that protects social programs while making deeper inroads into the debt.
"When we were growing up both of us lost a father. Both of us had mothers who took Social Security benefits to help our families get through a very difficult time," she said as her notes trembled in her hands.
"I am afraid that the safety net is getting too many holes cut in it for our next generation."
At each of the meetings Ryan held across his Wisconsin district Thursday morning and early afternoon, Ryan asked "how many of you are 55 years of age of older?"
After the vast majority of the crowd raised his hand, Ryan assured them "this budget does not affect your Medicare benefits."
Not everyone was satisfied. "What about my son?" one man asked. "I'm 54!" shouted another.