House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has scuttled any possible debt-reduction compromise, insisting House Republicans can’t agree to so much as a penny in new revenue. Every tax cut billionaires enjoy is sacred; every corporate-jet owner mustn’t be asked to sacrifice; every lucrative oil company must hang onto their tax subsidies.
Politico had an interesting item this morning, though, with a tidbit I haven’t seen elsewhere.
Adding an unusual twist to the political maneuvering, GOP aides say that wealthy donors have approached Cantor to push tax increases. […]
A few wealthy donors have called Cantor to tell him they wouldn’t mind if their taxes are raised. During two closed meetings this week — one with vote-counting lawmakers, and another with the entire conference — Cantor told colleagues that some well-heeled givers have told them they’re willing to pay more taxes. Cantor, according to an aide, has responded that House Republicans aren’t standing up for the wealthy, but rather for the middle class, who want to see their taxes stay low.
As a substantive matter, Cantor, as usual, has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. House Republicans are exclusively standing up for the wealthy, while demanding harsh cuts to public investments that benefit everyone else. For that matter, “the middle class” have said they want and fully expect tax increases to be part of a debt-reduction compromise.
But what I find most interesting about this is the fact that some wealthy donors — Republicans, mind you, not rich liberals — have gone to the trouble of contacting the House Majority Leader to give their blessing to raising their taxes. Cantor is fighting like hell to make sure these folks don’t have to pay an additional dime, but these same wealthy GOP contributors have effectively told the Majority Leader, “Go ahead; we don’t mind paying a little more.”
So, to review, the White House wants the wealthy to pay a little more; most the Senate wants the wealthy to pay a little more; the Gang of Six expects the wealthy to pay a little more; polls show the vast majority of the American public wants the wealthy to pay a little more; economists believe having the wealthy pay a little more won’t hurt the economy; and the wealthy themselves are comfortable with paying a little more.
But Eric Cantor and House Republicans still consider the very idea outrageous.