U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte probably wasn’t expecting this during her town hall in Canada* last week, when a long-time Republican stood up and pushed back on her declaration that she couldn’t end tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% because it will impact “small businesses”:
“Senator, I’m a lifetime Republican, and have usually voted Republican, however this year I didn’t. The main reason I didn’t was because of the Republican platform that said no tax increases, even for those people who make over $250,000.
I think that is really a problem in the Republican Party … I know you have said and the Republicans have said, ‘Oh, we want to really support small businesses.’ I think it’s important to support small businesses too.
But there’s a lot of people here who are in small business and I don’t think any of us in small businesses here have a bottom line where we’re making over $250,000. And I don’t think that raising the tax rate on a small business that’s making over $250,000 is really going to negatively influence those small businesses.”
(Video & more below the fold)
The constituent in question is a man named Wendell Woodward, a tax accountant who, according to the public voter file, wasn’t kidding when he indicated that he is a long-time Republican. Woodard also knew what he was talking about when he refuted the small business red herring: ending the Bush-era tax cuts for those making over $250,000 a year wouldn’t affect 97% of small businesses.
Yet Kelly Ayotte and other GOP leaders continue to fight for tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans, even if it means having to use misleading claims, jeopardize needed investments, or throw our seniors and most vulnerable under the bus.
Make no mistake, these backwards policies hurt conservatives during the November 2012 elections and they will continue to hurt them going forward. Just look back above: that exchange came from a Republican constituent. There are a growing number of Americans – Republicans, Democrats, Independents alike – who are concerned about the deficit but fed up with Congress putting millionaires ahead of the middle class.
There’s a lot happening on the fiscal cliff right now, and it’s easy to miss it amid the holiday rush or the devastating news out of Connecticut last week. But if you need a good reminder of what’s at stake and why we should care, see this short interview Granite State Progress did with Wendell after the Ayotte town hall on Friday:
And if you’ve got any space to help hold Ayotte – and the rest of the delegation – accountable, there are phonebanks running out of NH Citizens Alliance for Action and other planned activities, as part of New Hampshire’s contribution to www.theaction.org, a national grassroots movement pushing for an end to the tax breaks for the wealthiest 2%.
(If you also attended the town hall, please add more to this diary below. You can also see the full exchange between Mr. Woodward and Sen. Ayotte here.)
* Well, maybe not quite Canada, but it was held in the northern most municipality in our state. And while Pittsburg itself is great I’m sure, with town halls far and few between having an elected official schedule one at the very edge of a district in a town that borders Canada seems a little odd, don’t you think?