ThinkProgress filed this report from a town hall meeting in Windermere, FL.
Rep. Dan Webster (R-FL) encountered many angry constituents Tuesday night during a town hall meeting outside Orlando. Attendees repeatedly admonished Webster for his support of the Ryan budget and pleaded with him to do more to ensure corporations pay their fair share in taxes.
One such constituent was Falcon Taylor. She asked why he was ruling out any tax increases, noting that previous Republican presidents had balanced budgets by raising taxes along with lowering spending. Webster responded that the problem was future generations would end up footing the bill. Taylor instead encouraged Webster to help close the nation’s budget deficit by raising taxes on corporations, many of whom are currently paying little to nothing in corporate income taxes. Moving in towards Taylor’s seat, Webster threatened to have her removed from the town hall, telling her “you’re making a choice of whether you want to stay or not.” Two other constituents then walked out in protest:
TAYLOR: What I want to know is, we’ve been able to balance our budget before by raising taxes and lowering spending and we know this because Eisenhower did it, Ford did it, Reagan did it, Bush the first did it, they were all Republicans. I want to know who’s going to pay, who’s going to pay for this? Because I don’t think we should take away Social Security [sic] just because we’re under 55 and public education, we need public education. [Inaudible] That’s wrong.
WEBSTER: The problem is this. Who’s going to pay? Your children and your grandchildren. That’s who’s going to pay. If we continue on this, yes, can we fund a lot of things going up this line? Sure can. But just know, most of it’s borrowed money.
TAYLOR: You need to raise taxes on the corporations! [Inaudible] And stop the wars! Just stop all the warring.
WEBSTER: Just a minute. I can hear, everybody in here can hear. So you’re making a choice of whether you want to stay or not.
TAYLOR: Answer the question!
[Audience cheers] [Two men walk out in protest]
This is not Webster’s first encounter with voter revolt over he and his Republican colleagues’ priorities in Congress. Last month, Webster was one of the first congressmen to encounter a wave of anger following the Republican-led House’s approval of the Ryan plan to end Medicare and extend tax breaks for the wealthy. (The scene at his April town hall was described as “bedlam.”)
ThinkProgress spoke with Taylor following the town hall to get her reaction. She was saddened by his “typical Republican response” that encouraged spending cuts alone with no tax increases. Taylor went on to express her disappointment that she was threatened with removal for pushing the idea of increasing taxes on corporations: