Because House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) will play a leading role in blocking all job-creation measures in Congress, it’s important to appreciate how he approaches economic policy. Here he is, for example, making his case in a Washington Post op-ed today.
[T]he Obama administration’s anti-business, hyper-regulatory, pro-tax agenda has fueled economic uncertainty and sent the message from the administration that “we want to make it harder to create jobs.” There is no other conclusion….
Cantor, of course, made up that quote, as part of a ridiculous argument. In effect, the dimwitted Majority Leader — who opposes job-creation measures he used to support, and has vowed to kill any proposal to boost the economy — believes the White House is deliberately against lowering unemployment. Given the frequency with which the Republican “sabotage” question comes up, Cantor’s attack is as ironic as it absurd.
The op-ed went on to say:
Unfortunately, we have found President Obama to be an unwilling partner when it comes to getting America’s fiscal house in order. Since taking office, he has added trillions to the debt, ignored the recommendations of his own fiscal commission and put forth a budget that failed to address the drivers of our debt. Then we had to drag him to the table to make even the modest spending cuts that Standard & Poor’s says don’t go far enough.
Who’s an “unwilling partner” on fiscal issues? If memory serves, it was just a month ago that President Obama, much to the dismay of his own party, was willing to make sweeping entitlement changes as part of a package of $4 trillion in debt reduction. And it was Cantor and his GOP allies who refused to even consider the offer.
As for Standard & Poor’s, Cantor said our “nation’s credit downgrade” came as a result of a large debt. Maybe Cantor hasn’t read the S&P analyses yet — he’s not much of a reader — but he should probably take the time to learn what he’s talking about before writing an op-ed for a major newspaper.
The ratings agency hasn’t exactly kept the reasoning secret: congressional Republican expressed skepticism about the serious consequences of a credit default; they undermined confidence in the American political system; refused to compromise; they ruled out additional revenue; and they deliberately played a radical game with the full faith and credit of the United States. S&P didn’t leave much doubt about which side of the aisle the agency considers responsible.
This isn’t ancient history. This just happened and should still be fresh in everyone’s memory. For Cantor to blame Obama for Republicans’ borderline-criminal misconduct, hoping that we won’t remember the events of July and August, is pathetic.
I’d also note that Cantor’s piece repeatedly referenced tax increases as part of that rascally president’s agenda. It’s worth realizing that (a) Obama has cut taxes repeatedly; (b) Obama even agreed to keep Bush’s failed tax policies in place beyond their expiration date; and (c) the only folks who actively want to raise taxes immediately are congressional Republicans.
Cantor may find reality inconvenient, but that’s no excuse for pretending it doesn’t exist.