Saturday, August 06, 2011


There are some interesting points in this Wall Street Journal interview with Eric Cantor.

Obama and the Narcissism of Big Differences
The "philosophical starting point" of today's Democrats, as Mr. Cantor sees it, is that they "believe in a welfare state before they believe in capitalism. They promote economic programs of redistribution to close the gap of the disparity between the classes. That's what they're about: redistributive politics." The Virginian's contempt is obvious in his Tidewater drawl. "The assumption . . . is that there is some kind of perpetual engine of economic prosperity in America that is going to just continue. And therefore they are able to take from those who create and give to those who don't. We just have a fundamentally different view."


Mr. Cantor quit the talks in late June amid Democratic tax demands, which he considered non-negotiable. Their position, he says, was that "we can't do this unless you Republicans are going to relent on revenues." His truculence did not endear him to Washington—though of course no one likened Mr. Obama to a terrorist for similarly refusing to give on any part of his new health-care entitlement, which was not even in the vicinity of "the table."


In private, however, the debate always returned to the status of the top marginal rate for individuals earning over $200,000 and $250,000 for couples—aka the Bush tax cuts for people who do not own private aircraft. Mr. Cantor argued that some large portion of the income that flows through the top bracket comes from "pass-through entities"—that is, businesses—and "to me, that strikes at the core of what I believe should be the policy, and that is to provide incentives for entrepreneurs to grow."

By contrast, he says, "Never was there ever an underlying economic argument" from Democrats. "It was all about social justice. Honestly, one of them said to me, 'Some people just make too much money.'"

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