I've praised the local news media for managing to cover town halls a lot better than their national counterparts, but they still miss plenty. For example, Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) took questions at a town hall in Millerton, New York on Wednesday, but no news accounts show any record that he was there, much less faced any challenge from the crowd on Gibson's ironclad support for Grover Norquist's pledge. Luckily, we managed to get some video from constituents who attended the town hall, and they captured some excellent points from the crowd. In particular, one exchange stood out. In the video, a small business owner talked about the sacrifices that he and other small business owners in the area made to save a struggling local business in the interest of the entire community. He asked over and over why Congress wouldn't raise tax rates on the rich in order to help pay for job creation projects, and over and over again Gibson dodged the question by claiming that he was for "increasing revenue" through "tax reform", which he defines as lowering rates, not raising them. Gibson is referring to the "Laffer curve", the theoretical construct that "proves" that if you lower taxes, the resulting increased business activity would actually create more than enough revenue to replace what was lost by lowering taxes. Sounds great, except it's been debunked time and time again. It's sort of like thinking that it's unhealthy to exercise too much, because you won't get enough rest, and you'll burn way too many calories. Which might be true if you were training for marathons year round, but when your exercise regime consists of a monthly trip to the gym, you should probably step it up a little. The questioner closed with an excellent point, one that befuddled Gibson. If cutting tax rates was supposed to stimulate jobs because it gave corporations and the wealthy extra money to hire, why have corporations operating with record profits over the last few years given their CEOs massive pay increases instead of hiring workers? Gibson didn't really have a response. Maybe because there really isn't one.
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