Tonko said tax reform is needed, but provided few details on what that might entail.
"I think there's a call here for a revisitation of tax policy, and the burden here ought to be justly applied," he said, which drew the assent of many in the room.
The congressman's strong words for Wall Street and his insistence that the recently-formed legislative "super committee" operate in public were likewise met with applause.
Though big-picture issues might have ruled the evening, there was time devoted to local matters, including hydrofracking and the maintenance of the area's waterways. Tonko said more should be done to ensure New York's waters are protected.
"It is forecasted we will be a water-based economy in 30 years," he said. "It would be wrong of us to destroy any of that water."
Tonko is touring the 21st Congressional District while Congress is on break. He's also stopping for town hall events in Schoharie on Wednesday, Aug. 22, and in the Town of Glen on Wednesday, Aug. 31.