Chris Wallace asks Eric Cantor just why the public should trust Republicans more than Democrats to be looking out for the voters' interests, and specifically on the issue of health care reform, and Cantor brings up their "listening tour" and again, doesn't give an ounce of specifics about just what their plan is.
WALLACE: So how does the GOP turn around that public perception, “Yeah, we’ve got doubts about the Democrats. We’ve got even more doubts about Republicans?”
CANTOR: Well, the bottom line is Republicans need to demonstrate that we’ve got the solutions for the issues that face American families today.
Barack Obama promised that he would not raise taxes on working families. Well, they just did that last week with the cap and trade vote. They’re about to do it this week and next with the health care vote.
All we’re talking about now is how are we going to pay for these gargantuan government programs, and really not only to no effect to address the current problem but to make matters worse.
So the Republican Party does have a plan. We are proffering solutions to these very difficult economic problems. What we’re also doing is we’re launching national efforts to go about this country, to engage a discussion with the American people about how our solutions work better for them in these economic times.
WALLACE: All right. But let’s talk about health care reform, because actually, the plan that’s coming out of the House, among House Democrats, is not to tax the middle class. In fact, they’re proposing a $550 billion tax increase on the rich, on anyone making over $280,000 a year. What’s wrong with that?
CANTOR: Well, really, the big issue, I think, surrounding health care is, number one, do you -- do you believe that the government can actually be the one taking over the system and providing the type care that we have.
But number two, how are you going to pay for it? And you’re right. Charlie Rangel is poised to announce this incredible half a trillion dollar tax on folks making over $200,000 a year.
But if you look at who that is, half of those people derive their income from small businesses. Half of those people are the ones making the decision as to whether to hire Americans or not. So again, why would we be going into the direction of saying to business owners, “I’m going to take yet even more from you to make it more difficult for you to hire the Americans who are now out of work?”
WALLACE: Congressman, do you believe that every American should have health insurance?
CANTOR: I believe that we ought to certainly put out there as a goal that everyone should have access to health insurance coverage, absolutely.
We ought to make sure that we create a system where you can hold costs down and provide access to a basic plan for all Americans that are out there and can do so.
WALLACE: So how would you get those -- you know, you say a goal. This has been something that we’ve been talking about for 30 years, 40 years. How would you get that 40, 50 million Americans who are uninsured protected?
CANTOR: Well, I mean, listen. That number of uninsured is always fluid. It’s changing. And a large part of those that are uninsured have to do with the people who are in job transitions, have lost their jobs.
We need to, number one, put in place some flexibility in insurance coverage so that people are protected if they lost their job, that do -- we could say that entrepreneurs who want to go out and start to create their own business and hire people will be protected if we put in some type of self-insured -- self-employed insurance plan, so that people can have access to affordable basic coverage. So we need to expand the ability for them to enter larger risk pools to do that.
But listen. The bulk of the people in this country are insured by their employer. And that’s about 70 percent of the people. We need -- and we need to make sure that those employers stay in the game, and we need to allow them the flexibility so that they can bring down costs.
Government has never demonstrated the ability to do that.