Congressman Ben Quayle (R-AZ) points a chart of the looming federal deficit during a town hall meeting in Anthem Monday night.
Congressman Quayle came to Anthem, an upper middle class development north of Phoenix, Monday to talk about the deficit and press the case for budget reform and the Republican’s draconian budget plan. Nearly 200 people were there and I’m sure he was expecting a friendly crowd, given the demographics of the Anthem area.
The crowd, though, was hardly friendly. I’d guesstimate that well over half the crowd were opposed to the Republican budget plan, especially the parts that would end Medicare and replace it with a voucher plan. But there were also questions about continuing subsidies for the oil industry during a time of near record oil industry profits, cutting funding for Planned Parenthood and women’s health care even though only about 3% of PP’s services are abortion related and the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In general, they were skeptical and critical of what appear to be Republican plans to roll back the 20th Century.
To his credit, Quayle (who, despite being the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, is a political neophyte), confronted and answered the questions head on. He didn’t flinch or refuse to tackle a subject. Even when questioners “refudiated” his answers with facts of their own he stuck to his guns.