Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan said Monday that if President Barack Obama is re-elected, his economic plan will look like the “cash for clunkers” program and he will raise taxes on successful small businesses. Ryan made his comments as part of a Mitt Romney town hall event in Northern Milwaukee, just a day before the primary in Wisconsin.
“The president is practicing ‘cash for clunkers’ economics,” said Ryan.
“Take money from successful businesses. Take money from families. Take it to Washington and swish it around,” the House Budget Committee chairman explained. “Then send it back to your favorite constituencies.”
The campaign event was held at Moore Oil Company in front of a crowd of about 200 people. Ryan held up the 35-year-old family business as an example of a successful firm that President Obama’s tax policies will punish if he wins a second term.
“This is a great business that employs seventy people. It’s a great business because it’s competitive. This business files its taxes as if it was an individual. The President is saying in January he wants the tax rates on this business to go above forty percent.”
Ryan has often decried the U.S. tax code for forcing many small businesses and sole proprietorships to pay the same rates as individuals. They would be affected by an increase in the top marginal rate, Ryan argued. (RELATED: Full coverage of the Romney campaign)
After Ryan introduced Romney, the former Massachusetts governor reinforced his frequent claim that his vision of economic freedom compares favorably with Obama’s vision of bigger and more intrusive government.
“Instead of the government directing individuals,” said Romney, “through freedom we built enterprises that created wealth.”
Long time Wisconsin congressman Jim Sensenbrenner spoke first. Moore Oil CEO Scott Haag introduced the three, pausing to reflect on his personal impression of Romney. ”He’s a very genuine and nice individual,” he said.
Romney took his audience’s questions on health care, gas prices, taxes, and even the Boy Scouts. Asked why he decided to run for president again after mounting a failed candidacy in 2008, Romney revealed that his wife was the driving force.
“Ann played a big role in this,” said Romney.
The Monday campaign event was the second of the day for Romney with Paul Ryan at his side. Earlier in the day, the two greeted held a rally in Green Bay.
Rick Santorum held three Wisconsin events of his own on Monday. Both Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have all but given up on the Badger State and are campaigning elsewhere. Polls show Romney has a comfortable lead in Wisconsin, with margins that range from five to ten percentage points.
A small group of protesters stood outside the Milwaukee event, complaining that Mitt Romney should pay a higher tax rate.
The activists, who would only identify themselves as local citizens, advocated for the so-called Buffet Rule.