| "...and now that it looks like everybody has been served, I'd like to welcome our very special guest to the Toledo Rotary Club for the first of what I hope will become a tradition of Town Hall luncheons. Please say hello to the tanned and tearful Speaker of the House, the honorable John Boehner." |
"Thank you for the introduction, Tim, although I must say I don't feel at all tearful today, being back in the great city of Toledo. Is everybody enjoying their lunch? No? Well, what can you expect for fifty bucks... When I was first starting out, they used to call this the rubber chicken circuit, but what our chef has prepared today certainly can't be called rubber chicken. No, I think it was a pork chop, I'm not quite sure. But it was delicious, and served just the way I like it - room temperature with a nice bottle of water. I kid, I kid, but Jesus Christ, Tim, for fifty bucks a head you ought to be able to put together something edible."
"If I can just point out one thing, Mister Speaker, yours was complimentary."
"Yes it was, Tim, and for that I'm most grateful. Now before I start taking questions, I'd like to make a few brief remarks to this distinguished gathering. There has been a bit of brouhaha in the press lately about the fact that many Republican candidates are charging to attend our Town Hall meetings this year, and I'd like to point out that this is not only the way that real government works, but it's a darn effective way to keep the riff-raff out. At least most of the riff-raff. I say that because I see my old friend Herb Peterson is here today. How's that carton manufacturing business going lately, Herb?"
"Not too good, John. I had to declare Chapter 7 in May."
"Damn that Obama. Still, it can't be too bad if you can still cough up fifty bucks to attend my Town Hall."
"I thought I might have an opportunity to ask you for a job."
"And so you shall, Herb, during the question and answer period. If I call on you. But Tim brings up a good point - a number of hard working Americans are complaining that they're having difficulty making ends meet. Sometimes they complain just a little too darn vociferously, which is one of the reasons for holding these closed Town Halls where I can get together with my constituents in an environment with a certain amount of dignity. And so again, thank you for having me here, and I guess I'm about ready for my first question. Yes, Mister Franklin... Frazenpupil... I hope I'm pronouncing that right."
"Close enough. I was wondering if there were any conditions under which you would ever raise taxes."
"Good question, Frank, and the short answer is no way in hell. But there are scenarios under which I would allow tax breaks to expire, such as the payroll tax break that will end in December."
"I hope that doesn't indicate a willingness on your part to allow the tax cuts on income over $250,000 to expire."
"Heavens no, Mister... Grecklebuger. My goodness, there are some interesting names here today..."
"Yeah, like Boehner."
"No offense meant, Horatio. I've had my name pronounced every way in the book. My point is that allowing the upper class tax cuts to expire is a selective tax increase, which makes it a form of class welfare. Allowing the payroll tax cut to rise, on the other hand, is a shared sacrifice which affects us all equally, and let's face it, with this deficit as high as it is, that's a sacrifice all Americans should be willing to make. Mister, uh, Guido Bigatonlionskioni."
"My friends just call me Mister Big. I import Italian shoes for a living. My concern is that any increase in taxes for the lower and middle classes would make it harder for my customers to buy."
"Well for goodness sakes, Mister Big, Italian shoes can hardly be considered a necessity. I would suggest that you augment your product line with some cheap knock-offs from Singapore. You could really improve your margin and keep your less affluent customers happy."
"Hey, good idea, I never thought of that."
"I suppose that's the reason I'm Speaker of the House and you're a shoe salesman."
"Mister Speaker, could you..."
"I'm sorry, Herb, I called on you earlier. Mister John Smith... Huh... is that your real name?"
"That's right, rub it in that I don't have a big fancy name like everybody else. I guess you don't care anything about the poor."
"I'll take that as a question, John. No, I don't care a whole hell of a lot. In fact, these people tend to irritate me. You see, in America, even when times are tough, there's no reason for anybody to remain poor, it's all a state of mind, it's class envy. Do any of you remember Dick Gregory? No? Well, Dick Gregory used to say 'I'm not poor, I'm broke', and that's the right way to think about it. In Obama's America, you've got a good excuse to be broke, but that's something you can fix at the ballot box... Well, they're bringing out pie and coffee, so let me take just one last question. Mister Felix... Schartzbonker."
"Yes, this Dick Gregory fellow... was he a black man?"
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