This week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) sent a letter to his caucus, urging them to avoid budget brinkmanship when lawmakers return in September, suggesting Republicans don’t have much of an appetite for another showdown over a government shutdown. But that’s not the only thing Cantor said in the letter.

Reader F.B. flagged another tidbit that’s especially relevant right now.

[Cantor] blamed Obama’s policies for harming the economy, and invoked President Franklin Roosevelt, whom he said had lengthened and deepened the Great Depression with some of his decisions.

To help reduce uncertainty, Cantor said the GOP will focus on ending regulations and “stopping the discussions of new stimulus spending.”

The Majority Leader is frighteningly confused about the basics of economic policy, which certainly does not bode well for the nation’s economic future.

The White House message to Cantor and his GOP colleagues will be pretty straightforward: both sides can get what they want out of an economic plan. Democrats can get short-term economic growth and job creation with common-sense measures that have traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, and Republicans can get long-term debt reduction with changes to the tax code and entitlement “reforms.”

The results would give the economy a boost, demonstrate that the American political system can still function, reassure investors and global markets, and probably even improve the public standing for both parties. It’s an approach that economists, financial experts, and business leaders from both parties consider painfully obvious.

And yet, there’s the dimwitted House Majority Leader, blaming FDR for making the Depression worse and telling his caucus “stopping the discussions of new stimulus spending” is a top Republican priority.

America can’t thrive if Republicans won’t let it.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.