Just as it seemed adults were in charge in Washington, Republican Leader Cantor (R-VA) pulls out of the debt ceiling talks forcing them to be cancelled. This stunt puts a major obstacle in the path of reaching a compromise in time to meet the deadline and avoid a major economic disaster.
Cantor’s excuse: Democrats put revenue increases on the table
Cantor announced that his reason for pulling out of the talks was that Democrats insisted in balancing some of the budget cuts with revenue enhancement such as eliminating oil subsidies and closing tax loopholes that allow corporations to pay no tax at all.
The Republicans, as candidates for office, all signed a pledge with a lobbying group to never raise taxes. As a result, they received financial support. When some of these Congressmen like Cantor began making statements that all things are on the table, the special interest group came calling reminding them of the pledge and threatening to withhold campaign contributions next time if they waivered.
Just yesterday, Cantor said that he was open to closing some loopholes in the tax code. Today, he has had a cup of tea apparently, and changed his mind.
This is even more ironic since last week, Republicans voted to kill the tax credits for ethanol, breaking their pledge. And yesterday, Senate Republicans voted to kill a Democratic bill to extend the payroll tax cut enacted last year. That vote was a vote to raise taxes. So, I guess it all depends on whose ox is being gored.
The Republican idea of compromise is Republicans get everything they want, Democrats get nothing. If that is not agreeable, they take their ball and go crying to Mommy.
Government already exceeded its debt ceiling limit and deadline is approaching
This action is playing brinkmanship with the debt ceiling. It was Republicans who said they would not vote to raise the debt ceiling without conditions. They did not intend that to mean Democrats, who control 2 of the 3 elected bodies involved in this negotiation, get to have conditions also.
They have insisted the debt limit can not be raised without huge spending cuts to lower the deficit. However, they insist in countering those spending cuts with more tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations meaning the debt would not come down.
Democrats want to incorporate the approach of the deficit commission which balanced spending cuts with eliminating tax breaks for corporations and the rich, which 74% of the Americans favor. Republicans are beholden to special interests and will not budge on this issue.
Economists, the Federal Reserve Chairman, and even former Republican Senators have urged the Republicans not to play partisan politics with our economy. Cantor, I guess, is telling them to butt out.
The clock is ticking.
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