The fiscal fight in Cantor’s alternate universe


House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) appeared on “Meet the Press” yesterday and presented an interesting argument regarding looming, automatic sequestration cuts. It’s so amazing, let’s annotate this one paragraph.

“You know, the problem is, David, every time you turn around, the answer is to raise taxes [1]. And, you know, he just got his tax hike on the wealthy. And you can’t, in this town, every three months, raise taxes [2]. And again, every time, that’s his response [3]. And, you know, we’ve got a spending problem. Everybody knows it [4]. The House has put forward an alternative plan [5]. And there’s been no response in any serious way from the Senate or the White House [6].”

Ready for this?

[1] Democrats aren’t proposing a tax increase; they’re proposing a compromise including spending cuts and new revenue through closing tax loopholes.

[2] The new revenue from a slight increase in top marginal rates was the first increase in income tax rates in two decades. Once every 20 years is not the same as once “every three months.”

[3] “His,” in this case, refers to President Obama, who’s repeatedly offered congressional Republicans overly-generous offers on debt reduction. Indeed, that’s what he’s done “every time.”

[4] We don’t have a spending problem. We don’t have a spending problem. We don’t have a spending problem. We don’t have a spending problem.

[5] In this Congress, the House has not put forward an alternative plan to the sequester. It simply does not exist in this reality. There were alternatives in the last Congress, but as Cantor probably knows, bills do not carry over from one Congress to the next, and if House GOP leaders want to offer an alternative, they’ll have to write one and then vote on it, not lie about its existence.

[6] Both the White House and Senate Democrats have unveiled different proposals to replace the sequester, and unlike Cantor’s imaginary plan, they exist. What’s more, both Democratic alternatives are built around compromises on the larger policy, while Republicans insist they will not compromise at all.

All things considered, it appears the House Majority Leader has no idea what he’s talking about.

Sequester and Eric Cantor

The fiscal fight in Cantor's alternate universe