Since the 2016 presidential election, town halls have grown raucous, and many elected officials have opted out of hosting any.
One congressman decided to face his constituents and set the record straight ... about who pays his salary.
Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) addressed “two things” his constituents said and responded:
“You said you pay for me to do this? That's bull crap. I paid for myself.”
Mullin claimed that he “paid enough taxes before I got here and continue to through my company to pay my own salary.” The Oklahoma congressman declared to his constituents that “this is a service.”
He seemingly wanted to explain to constituents that while there are career politicians, he is making a sacrifice to serve the people of Oklahoma's second congressional district:
“This is a service for me, not a career, and I thank God this is not how I make my living.”
His comments seemed to frustrate constituents, and one offered a simple solution to his apparent disdain for his position: “don't run.”
The encounter was captured in a video that was posted to Facebook and quickly gathered people's attention.
Mullin is currently serving his third term, and user John Gibson, who lives in Bokchito, Oklahoma, explained that it would be his last:
Don't worry Markwayne, your “service” will no longer be needed soon.
One accountant analyzed how much Mullin would have to make to fully finance his salary through taxes he's paid:
I'm trying not to make political posts for a week, but as an accountant, I will say that his income would have to be about $440,000 for his taxes to pay his $174,000 salary. That doesn't include fringe benefits.
Alex Cheatham — also an Oklahoma resident, according to his Facebook page — highlighted a bigger problem with a representative who feels no financial gratitude toward his constituents:
A man who believes that he is paying his own way in Washington will never feel obligated to represent the needs of his constituents. He only works for himself therefore he cannot lead.
Mullin's spokeswoman, Amy Lawrence, explained the congressman's comment to The Tulsa World:
“The congressman is referencing the federal taxes that he and his businesses have paid to the government over the years, prior to his being in office. Like all business owners, Congressman Mullin pays his taxes, which contribute to congressional salaries.”
Lawrence went on to explain that Mullin doesn't aspire to be a “career politician” and that his goal is to be a “career legislator” instead.