The Rev. Clay Salmela, standing at left, asks U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, right, how the tax bill Grothman voted for will address the wealth gap in the country.
The Rev. Clay Salmela, standing at left, asks U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, right, how the tax bill Grothman voted for will address the wealth gap in the country.

“I’m a lifelong, born-again Republican. What I’m going to say, I wouldn’t have said five years ago ...  I think — and this is irreligious for a Republican — but hav[ing] a single-payer plan that paid for universal health coverage would save businesses a lot more money than tax cuts.”

So Bob Deboer told U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, during a town hall meeting Monday afternoon in the basement of the Fairwater Civic Center.

Deboer was one of about two dozen or so locals who showed up to discuss issues with their congressman, mostly focusing on the recent tax cuts laid out in a bill Grothman voted for.

However, Grothman himself asserted that the bill will change — and he himself wants to see certain changes — before its final iteration is passed, which he told attendees probably would be before Christmas.

Among the concerns Grothman explained he had about the bill, before he opened up the town hall to questions, were whether it does enough for manufacturing industries and jobs, whether some wealthy people such as hedge fund managers are “maybe doing too well,” whether the estate tax should be removed and whether the medical/dental deduction should be removed. 

“Most people do not use that deduction because in order to use that deduction, your expenses have to exceed 10 percent of your income,” he said. “But to me — I used to do taxes — people who take advantage of the medical deduction are people who really need it.”

Health care and tax cuts became an interwoven theme later in the event when the public peppered Grothman with questions relating to the two.

Read the full story in the Nov. 23, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.