One missed item attaches to Rep. Mike Kelly, the Tea Party favorite who has represented the Third District of Pennsylvania since January. Kelly, who inherited a few bucks from his car dealer dad and married a natural gas heiress, is all about getting Washington to stop spending so much money. He said the day he was sworn in that it would be "absolutely irresponsible" to raise the debt ceiling.
A couple of months later, however, when it came to cutting $4 billion in subsidies for the top five oil companies, Mr. Frugal voted (along with the entire House Republican caucus) not to stop this giveaway. In his case, there was a personal stake in that vote. He owns more than $6 million of two companies that were just bought by one of those immensely profitable oil giants, ExxonMobil.
As ThinkProgress points out, that didn't sit too well with a constituent at a recent townhall meeting in Erie, Penn. He asked Kelly how he could:
“...justify continuing subsidies for oil companies with record profits while cutting vital services for working families?” The Pennsylvania congressman first responded by citing American Petroleum Institute talking points and argued that we need to help oil companies because they are in many pension plans and retirement portfolios. Kelly then went on to decry what he saw as “class warfare” before being shouted down by constituents who were incredulous that the Pennsylvania congressman was a “rich millionaire” but he wouldn’t end oil subsidies and “fix the tax code” ...
KELLY: First of all, let me just ask one thing. Is there anybody in here that has a pension? Anybody have a portfolio? I want you to very carefully look at those portfolios. Those are usually made up by profitable companies.
CONSTITUENT: Why are we subsidizing them?
KELLY: If you really want to understand the whole thing, I would say that, number one, we want companies to be profitable. I said earlier about the class warfare, if we’re going to start classifying, “they’re too rich, they’re too wealthy, they’re too greedy. We don’t get enough, we need more, and we need to have rich people putting more money in. We need, we need, we need, we need, we need, we need, we need.”
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Congressman. Given your membership in the National Rifle Association, I'm sure you're familiar with the concept of self-defense. That's what your constituents are engaging in, sir. You and your right-wing buddies didn't call it class warfare during the past three decades that have transferred wealth in an upward direction and sliced off an ever-greater share of income for the top economic tier that you inhabit. But now that people well below that tier are resisting the policies that aided and abetted this transfer, you find the label useful. Cribbed, of course, from Heritage Foundation talking points and the daily Foxaganda spew.
Given your financial interests in companies that are fracking natural gas out of the Marcellus shale, we can no doubt soon count on another stellar townhall performance when some constitutent complains about the risk of fracking to their drinking water. Most likely you'll bellyache about how environmental zealots are determined to drive energy companies out of business and damage job creation.
Congressman, you're as convincing as a 3-year-old with cake frosting all over his face. You think the peasants need to know their place and keep silently to it. Too bad it pits out those fine shirts of yours when they refuse.