Yup, he's taking the future of this country so seriously....
Eric Cantor pulled out of the debt ceiling talks this morning, citing unbridgeable differences over the Dem insistence on tax hikes as part of a deal, and in his statement, he called on President Obama to step in and resolve the tax issue:
Since early May, Vice President Biden has led meetings surrounding the debt limit. The Vice President deserves a great deal of credit for his leadership in bringing us this far. We have worked to find areas of commonality to meet the goal of identifying spending cuts commensurate with or exceeding the amount of the Obama Administration’s request for a debt limit increase. I believe that we have identified trillions in spending cuts, and to date, we have established a blueprint that could institute the fiscal reforms needed to start getting our fiscal house in order.
That said, each side came into these talks with certain orders, and as it stands the Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases. There is not support in the House for a tax increase, and I don’t believe now is the time to raise taxes in light of our current economic situation. Regardless of the progress that has been made, the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue. Given this impasse, I will not be participating in today’s meeting and I believe it is time for the President to speak clearly and resolve the tax issue. Once resolved, we have a blueprint to move forward to trillions of spending cuts and binding mechanisms to change the way things are done around here.
What’s interesting here is that by all appearances the main emerging obstacle to compromise was the demand by Senate Dems that a final deal include some kind of economic stimulus measures, such as infrastructure spending or a payroll tax cut. Republicans spent all day yesterday hammering the Dem demand, arguing that more stimulus was at odds with the Biden-led group’s goal of reducing spending.
Nobody should be surprised that Cantor and the Republicans have no real interest in coming up with a bi-partisan agreement. And if you think this was some spur-of-the-moment principled stand Cantor was taking instead of a calculated, coordinated move to force more concessions, I have a bridge to sell you...cheap. But the thing that continually annoys me is that their assumption is that if they keep repeating the same tired talking points, Americans are going to support their games:
Alan Blinder, a Princeton economics professor and former Fed vice president, thoroughly debunked the GOP's claims on Tuesday in a Wall Street Journal op-ed titled "The GOP Myth of 'Job-Killing' Spending." Blinder writes:
The generic conservative view that government is "too big" in some abstract sense leads to a strong predisposition against spending. OK. But the question remains: How can the government destroy jobs by either hiring people directly or buying things from private companies? For example, how is it that public purchases of computers destroy jobs but private purchases of computers create them?
Blinder easily knocks down claims that the 2009 federal stimulus—roughly $600 billion in spending and $200 billion in tax cuts—failed to create jobs, pointing to Congressional Budget Office data that shows the net job gain was at least 1.3 million and perhaps as high as 3.3 million. What's more, Blinder debunks the idea that the federal deficit and the uncertainty that comes with it has caused companies to scale back business investments, which in turn impacts hiring and economic growth. Except such investment soared in the past year, increasing 14.7 percent. Ultimately, Blinder argues for another round of stimulus—specifically, giving businesses that grow their payrolls a tax credit—while calling for a serious long-term deficit reduction package.