Friday, August 14, 2009

MT town hall: No shouting, just questions from polite conservative audience member

This is an example of how you ask a challenging question on the health care debate.

The gentleman -- Randy Rathie -- asks calmly and nicely for Obama to address the issue of taxes with regards to health care. He's skeptical, you see, of how we're going to get the money to pay for all these people who will enter into the public option.

It's a reasonable concern over a big issue. And Obama answers it. We ARE going to have to raise taxes -- but Obama and the Democrats will only raise taxes on those making over $250,000 a year.

But that wouldn't be the only source of revenue. In fact, as Obama points out himself, "Two-thirds of the money we can obtain just from eliminating waste and inefficiencies. The Congressional Budget Office has agreed with that, this is not just something I'm making up. Republicans don't dispute it. The other third, we would have to find additional revenue, but it wouldn't come on the backs of the middle class."

A good question from Randy and a good answer from Barack. This is how town halls are supposed to work. Notice that Randy wasn't yelling over Obama's answer -- he listened, and though he probably still disagrees with him, he respected his answer as a legitimate part of the back-and-forth they had.

"We're going to find out about the president," Rathie told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, "because he's made some promises. And now he has given me his word personally that he's not going to raise my tax. And I'm a big man on living up to your word, so I'm going to take him for that."

A class act. Now that's how conservatives will gain my respect.

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