Somebody Struck a Nerve!

An interesting scene at the Senate Finance Committee meeting during which the Republican's garbage tax plan was under discussion: Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown called out that the plan is just a giant piece of class warfare designed to redistribute wealth upwards, and Republican Senator Orrin Hatch was not happy about it.

SENATOR SHERROD BROWN: —Senator McCaskill and Senator Casey and Senator Stabenow and Senator Nelson are voting against a four thousand dollar raise that this tax cut is going to bestow on them. We know it's coming. We know you'll have way more money to promote that than we will have to defend it, but that's why the Wyden Amendment's so important. And I just think it would be nice, just tonight, before we go home, to just acknowledge, well, this tax cut really is not for the middle class; it's for the rich. And that whole thing about higher wages, well, it's a good selling point, but we know companies don't just give away higher wages. They don't just give away higher wages, just 'cause they have more money. Corporations are sitting on a lot of money now; they're sitting on a lot of profits now. I don't see wages going up. So, just spare us, spare us the bank shots, spare us the sarcasm and the satire—


SENATOR ORRIN HATCH: I'm gonna just say to ya that, ah, I come from the poor people. And I've been here working my whole stinking career for people who don't have a chance. And I really resent anybody saying that I'm just doing this for the rich. Give me a break! I think you guys overplay that all the time, and it gets old. And frankly ya oughta, ya oughta quit it!

BROWN: Mr. Chairman, the public believes it.

HATCH: [holds up his hand] Wait a minute, just — I'm not through!

BROWN: Okay.

HATCH: I get kinda sick and tired of it. True, it's a nice political play, but it's not true.

BROWN: Well, Mr. Chairman, with all due respect, I get sick and tired of the richest people in this country getting richer and richer—

[crosstalk; calls to order]

HATCH: [bangs gavel] Listen! I've honored you by allowing you to spout off here. And what you said was not right! That's all I'm saying. I come from the lower middle class originally! We didn't have anything! So don't spew that stuff on me! I get a little tired of that crap. And let me just say something — if ya didn't, if we worked together [hits hand on table] we could pull this country out of every, every mess it's in! And we could do a lot of the things that you're talking about, too. And I think I've got a reputation of having worked together with Democrats!

BROWN: Let's start with CHIP.

HATCH: Not starting with CHIP. I did it — I've done it for years. I've got more bills —

BROWN: Start with CHIP today.

HATCH: I've got more bills passed than everybody on this committee put together! And they've been passed for the benefit of people in this country. Now all I can say is: I like you personally very much, but I'm telling ya, this bullcrap that you guys throw out here really gets old after awhile. To do it right at the end of this [hits hand on table] was just not right! And I just — it takes a lot to get me worked up like this!
A lot of the truth, apparently.

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