ThinkProgress filed this report from Greenland, NH.
At the Republican presidential debate in Ames, Iowa last week, the GOP presidential candidates were asked if they would have rejected a deal to raise the debt ceiling that contained a 10-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to new revenue. All eight candidates raised their hands in opposition to such a deal, further proof that the GOP is set on continuing the intransigence on taxes that played a major part in Standard & Poor’s downgrade of America’s credit rating.
Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH) was asked about such a deal yesterday at a town hall in Greenland, NH. He dodged the question — admitting to the crowd “I don’t know if that answers your question” — and instead told attendees that he was not opposed to new revenue as long as it didn’t come from actually raising tax rates. Multiple attendees then challenged him, asking him why he wouldn’t support raising rates on corporations or the wealthiest Americans:
QUESTION: At the debate in Iowa last week, all eight candidates said they would reject a 10-to-1 deal that the new super committee comes out with. Would you reject a 10-to-1 deal? [...]
GUINTA: I don’t feel the need to raise rates, but I do think we can raise revenue. I don’t know if that answers your question, but –
ATTENDEES: Why not rates? What’s wrong with rates? How do you raise revenue? [...]
GUINTA: Well I think the way you raise revenue, my personal feeling is […] I don’t feel that raising taxes has to be the first option, there have to be many other options and alternatives before you raise tax rates. I feel like it can be regressive to raise rates on small businesses […]
WOMAN: Most small businesses are never even in the bracket of which we speak. They never reach that. And when they do it’s only the first dollar above the first $250,000 that is taxed at that higher rate. So it’s really very misleading when ‘Our small businesses need to be protected.’ They already are. Because 80, 90 percent of them never even have taxable income at the rate you’re talking about, so it’s really very misleading, and I’m really sick of hearing this misleading stuff.
The woman who challenged Guinta was absolutely correct: exceedingly few small businesses would be affected if taxes on the wealthiest Americans were raised. At another point in the town hall, Guinta was unable to answer why he has not supported allowing the Medicare program to negotiate with drug manufacturers, which would save billions of dollars every year.