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Cantor, Ryan distance themselves from Boehner on middle class tax cuts

John Boehner's suggestion that he might support an extension of the tax cuts only for folks who make less than $250,000 -- something Dems have jumped all over today -- has forced other Republicans to try and clean up the mess.

On Sean Hannity's radio show just now, the number two House Republican, Eric Cantor, tactfully distanced himself from Boehner's claim, suggesting that as a small business person, Boehner would surely never support such a measure, because it would fall short of blocking tax hikes across the board.

Here's the exchange:

HANNITY: A lot of conservatives were somewhat disturbed about this because they feel that the Speaker in waiting, John Boehner, should be saying, no way, we're for tax cuts for everybody across the board, and extending these tax cuts and not increasing taxes during a recession. Congressman Cantor?

CANTOR: Listen, John Boehner is a small business person. He knows what tax hikes mean to small business, especially in a recession. I know that all of us are going to work and do everything we can to make sure that we do not allow tax hikes to occur this year....

We're going to do all we can, working together, representing what most Americans feel, and that is, Washington does not have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem. And we don't need tax hikes in a recession, especially.

Cantor was on Hannity's show to promote his new book, "Young Guns," which was written with two other young House conservatives, Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy, and conspicuously does not include Boehner as an author. For Cantor to draw a firm line against supporting just an extension of the middle class tax cuts -- after Boehner, wittingly or not, blurred that line -- could help burnish Cantor's cred as a young conservative up and comer.

UPDATE, 5:29 p.m.: Cantor wasn't the only one to distance himself from Boehner. Paul Ryan, who appeared with Cantor on Hannity's show, also did the same.

"We're for a full, complete extension of the Bush tax cuts," Ryan said. He predicted that if House Dems would allow a vote on extending all the tax cuts, including the ones for the rich, and not just the ones for the middle class, that Republicans would win the vote.

"The question is whether Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid will even let that vote take place," Ryan said, adding that going along with a vote on just an extension of the middle class cuts would be a mistake. "We do not want to negotiate down," he said.

By Greg Sargent  |  September 13, 2010; 5:13 PM ET
Categories:  House GOPers  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Why Republicans don't fear fight over tax cuts for rich
Next: Happy Hour Roundup

Comments

I'm not sure what else Cantor has said on this subject, but the snip Greg provides here doesn't say that Cantor wouldn't also (like Boner) support a middle class extension only if that's all that was made available for a vote.

Posted by: sbj3 | September 13, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Cantor also refuse to explicitly endorse Ryan's economic plan?

What is Cantor's economic recipe for success?

Is it "we'll only cut taxes on 98% of the population if it's agreed that we do so on the upper 2%"? Anything else? What cuts, exactly?

I'm just shocked that Hannity didn't push him for policy specifics.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 13, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

What good does giving people like Paris Hilton a tax cut do? They won't turn around and spend it, and therefore won't stimulate the economy.

I'm starting to think that the Republican Tax strategy was the result of a bunch of underwear gnomes going on a three day bender. It makes no sense.

Yeah, sure, lets balance the budget by giving billionaires tax cuts, and while we are at it lets start more wars that "will pay for themselves." Also too, Obama is a socialist and Al Gore is fat.

I'm just amazed the press lets them get away with this nonsense. Why doesn't anybody call them on it?

Posted by: nisleib | September 13, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

sbj -- come on -- he says no go to such a vote, albeit subtly.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 13, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Let's give targeted tax incentives to those small businesses which hire.


This issue is silly.


The economics are economics - the partisans are out of control - trying to make hay where there is none.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 13, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"sbj -- come on -- he says no go to such a vote, albeit subtly."

Greg, stop yelling at clouds.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 13, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

OT (of course)... Andrew Sullivan notes the following:

"Palin vs The Press
13 SEP 2010 04:40 PM
The editor of the Missoulian, the daily newspaper in western Montana, is sick of Sarah's smears:

'Contrary to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s warning to the standing-room-only crowd at this afternoon’s Teen Challenge fundraiser in Missoula, the media did not “sneak in” to her speech. We were not there as “moles,” in her words. ... I only mention this because that sort of talk – “Be careful. There may be some media that sneaked into the room.” – is intended to create distrust of the professional journalists in this city and all across the country who take their jobs very seriously and work hard to accurately and fairly report the news."

Anyone with a functioning brain-stem will comprehend how dangerous to the polity and to civil discourse this line of attack is.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 13, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone with a functioning brain-stem..."

You are talking about Palin, right?

Posted by: nisleib | September 13, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Pretty smart tactically, low info voters know that Republicans will not raise their taxes (via media dispersing of his FTN statement) while Ryan, Cantor and the Caucus let's the base know it's all or nothing.  What's not to like tactically?  Also if it starts in the Senate, what Boehner commits to may be moot.

Signed,
buforD (fingers crossed)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 13, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"I'm just shocked that Hannity didn't push him for policy specifics."

Totally.

I'm stunned.

He is normally so fair and balanced and policy-oriented.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 13, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I love this, because as a practical political tactic, Bohner was right, because it was taking away a powerful argument that Democrats had, heading into the election.

I knew, as soon as he said it, that he was going to face a revolt against what he said, within his own caucus.

Watch for Boeher to soon flip flop, and try to spin it, as having been misquoted, taking out of context, or worse still; having been believed to be speaking the truth, when every one knows he never does that.

More Tobacco Lobby Checks for Mr. Boehner please, to pass out, and smooth the ruffled feathers of his Caucus Peacocks, and Peahen.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 13, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Tax cuts for the rich and a gov't shutdown are the TeaOP's magic bullets for economic recovery.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 13, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Troll, I fear you may be onto something. Esp the Senate running cover for Boehner's moment of middle-class identification.

Anyone heard from Dem leadership today?

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 13, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

@BG...All this fitness is wearing me down and my snarkometer is not as good as it should be...but surely....

"I'm just shocked that Hannity didn't push him for policy specifics."

Yes hard to imagine how a guy who works for that oxymoron..Fox News...could fail to extract ACTUAL INFORMATION from one of the Republican stooges Fox and Friends love to promote.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 13, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone heard from Dem leadership today?"

According to TPM they're still deciding the most effective path to take.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 13, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Right, and if the Republicans are serious about bringing down the debt they will let the huge tax cuts for the wealthy expire! two thumbs down for the Republicans. They have proven Obama absolutely correct. They only care about preserving their own wealth and the huge Bush tax cuts they greedily scarf up like pigs at a trough. They do not care about the American people at all. If you are among the the middle or lower class, making less than 250,000.00 a year Obama will extend your tax cuts and you should realize the wealthy among us do not care about you. It is up to YOU to care about you and support our President. Obama is not perfect, but he is right and doing all he can to help America up on it's feet. More Republican greed will not solve the problems we face. Wealthy Republicans have had their tax cuts for nearly 10 years now and they CUT American jobs and sent them overseas while taking their huge tax cuts and giving themselves bonuses! Don't drink the Koolaid, the Republicans want you to be POOR.

Posted by: Hillary08 | September 13, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone heard from Dem leadership today?"

"House Dems Will Not Force Vote On Middle Class Tax Cuts"

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/house-dems-will-not-force-vote-on-middle-class-tax-cuts.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

A little OT but since we are talking politics here...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/13/breaking-the-wave-five-pr_n_715026.html

Five Progressives In Swing Districts Are Bucking The Tide

Tom Perriello in Virginia, Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshire, Alan Grayson in Florida, Mary Jo Kilroy in Ohio and John Hall in New York all represent swing districts and have cast votes that Washington consultants label "tough." Those tough votes, though, are paying off in unexpected ways: By bucking the conventional wisdom, the progressive Democrats have locked down support among their base and are winning over independents, while Blue Dogs face a dispirited electorate unsure what they stand for.

Having solid progressives in Congress does far more than give the party an extra vote. The effect they have on other members is hard to quantify but can have real results. Without Grayson, for instance, it's virtually certain that Congress wouldn't have approved a broad audit of the Federal Reserve -- over the objections of the administration.

If Grayson and other progressives are defeated in November, it sends a signal that standing up for progressive values is at best politically useless and at worst costs a politician at the polls. But if progressives survive, while Blue Dogs are wiped out, the opposite message will be sent: The path to victory requires standing for something.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 13, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, I saw that. Worried they're getting schooled on this.

We're getting close to election time and it's time to play better chess than the other guy.

Hoping Greg will have a post on the legislative strategy (or not) coming from the Dems.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 13, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: I guess this is much ado over nothing:

"House Dems Will Not Force Vote On Middle Class Tax Cuts"

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/house-dems-will-not-force-vote-on-middle-class-tax-cuts.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: sbj3 | September 13, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I missed TPM's Update:

"Whopper of a late update: Another senior leadership aide called TPM about an hour after this post was published to say that leadership is still considering all of its options, including a vote after all. In remarks that highlight disagreement within the Democratic caucus, the aide said leadership is "still in discussions" and that many top Democrats want to force a vote.

"We may have a vote anyway to get people on the record," the aide said. "There are a number of leaders who would like a vote even if the Senate is not able to get to 60 votes. It's good for us, it shows we're for the middle class, they are for the rich."

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Anyone heard from Dem leadership today?

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 13, 2010 5:49 PM
..................

Not the time for them to say anything. Never get in the middle, when you opponents have just formed a circular firing squad, and have started shooting at each other. Eric Cantor just asked John Boehner would he care for a last cigarette, and a blindfold. Why on earth would we want the Democrats to take they eyes and ears of the Voters off that spectacle?

Posted by: Liam-still | September 13, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

ruk, snark lives!

And agree totally on your assessment of the aggressive Dems versus the blue dogs.

Really hope Perriello pulls it out.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 13, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Godd*mn cheerleaders! Hey, where'd our Quarterback go?!

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

And here's an even better answer provided by Greg is his inimitable smooth-snark style in the prior post:

"But it's a good idea for Dems to keep the GOP view of things in mind as they stride headlong into battle."

"as they stride headlong into battle"

Like a rapier.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

And more:

"Dems resist the temptation to take the initiative, opt for strategic cowering."

--Josh Marshall

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Fired Up, Ready to Go!

What's the Holdup?!

Oh right, the Republican Party...

"""The administration's bill, which has passed the House, would create a $30 billion fund for community banks to extend credit and offer $12 billion in tax breaks. Obama has accused Republicans of holding the bill hostage.

"You hear some of my friends on the Republican side complaining that we'd get more business investment if we had more certainty, where here is an example where we can get some certainty right away," he said. "Pass this bill; I will sign it into law the day after it is passed or the day it is passed, and then right away I think a lot of small businesses around the country will feel more comfortable about hiring and making investments."

[...]

On the administration's plan not to extend the tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, Obama said, "We could that done this week, but we are still in this wrestling match with John Boehner and [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell.""""

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/13/AR2010091303718.html

"We could that done this week, but we are still in this wrestling match with John Boehner and [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell."

Why don't the Republicans want to help Small Biz?

Why don't the Republicans want to permanently extend the Middle Class Tax Cuts?

Hmmmm?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 13, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Reality Check;

This could also be a very dangerous vote for a lot of House Democrats(especially the 48 or so of them, that won in Districts that McCain/Palin won. If they vote for to abolish the tax cuts, that would allow their opponents to go after them on that, and if thet vote against abolishing the tax cuts, then their more liberal base, might be turned off. Some times, Blue Dogs stand a better chance when running on ambiguity.

I think John Boehner also factored that into his decision to say, that if he had to, he would vote to let the Fat Cat Tax cuts expire.

Boehner is a shrewder tactician than Cantor, but Boehner's problem is that his own caucus has become captive to the Rigid Doctrinaire Tea Party types.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 13, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

A coupla tings, yah know:

skipsailing, if you're up here: Greg's pretty square/fair, he's connected & hasn't seemed to burn anybody @ the GOP; the fact that he's admittedly on the left can give a source confidence on background and let that source modulate what's given out for info. Plus, he seems to get along with the folks in general.
Anyway: trust but verify.

Lest we forget...there's a LOT of Rahm's 2006 Dems in districts where tax increases aren't looked upon with bedroom eyes like ya'll. Scott Murphy just north o'heah is one.

There ain't gonna be a vote on this ante-11/2.

I posted this on Greg's old blog back in the late-50's: If you literally confiscated ALL of the annual income of the top 2% of earners you wouldn't scratch the annual deficit much less put a dent in it. My take on that is that the politique de rigeuer tax increases for Dems are simply envy, payback, status-anxiety..."Ya gotta tax the rich boy, ya cain't be in the band unless ya tax the rich." ;>)

And the thing that most makes me believe the above:

$250,000/hshld.annum ≠ a Millionaire!

Posted by: tao9 | September 13, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

And I think that GOPers in the person of Agent Orange have once again demonstrated that "strategic cowering" is no way to "stride headlong into battle."

Do you really think Nancy Pelosi doesn't know what she is surrendering by not forcing this issue? Please tell me again how great it is to have Republicrats in the Democratic Party.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

$250,000/hshld.annum = CAN AFFORD 3% RAISE IN TAX RATE

duh!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 13, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

" If you literally confiscated ALL of the annual income of the top 2% of earners you wouldn't scratch the annual deficit "

tao:

Do you have numbers for this?

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Liam - no one has to vote for anything to expire. The expiration is built into the legislation.

All they have to do is introduce legislation for a new middle and low income tax cut package which mirrors the one set to expire, and pass it.

No one has to vote for or against anything for the current rates to expire. Key point which really highlights the dog-like servility of the blue dogs.

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 13, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what the savings would be if we just got completely out of Iraq, Afgh., and Korea. We could scale our military way back and use the money for more constructive things. Given our recent moves, shouldn't we already have that rep you get when you go crazy the first day in prison? You know, where everyone just leaves you alone?

OK, maybe a bad analogy.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 13, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

So what were Cantor's suggested trillion dollars or so of recommended spending cuts? Let's hear about a few hundred billion dollars worth for starters. Of course, we'll hear nothing of substance on that.

These young wannabe conservatives have only slogans and not ideas. If all we have is a "spending problem" and we do "not have a revenue problem," what significant spending cuts do they suggest. Hey, I'm all ears. If they actually put forth a credible plan I'd be tempted to vote for them, but they don't have a plan.

For that matter, I haven't heard a serious plan concerning deficits/debt out of any politician. All I know is that the last time we tried Cantor's approach --- tax cuts not accompanied by equivalent or greater spending cuts --- we piled backbreaking debt on future generations. It would be insanity to repeat what has already led to disaster.

Posted by: wireknob | September 13, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

"."Ya gotta tax the rich boy, ya cain't be in the band unless ya tax the rich"

Hah!  Makes me think of Nigel Tufnel: "but these go to eleven."

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 13, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/happy_hour_roundup_86.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 13, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't that was done during the French Revolution. The Oligarchs controlled all the wealth, so the rest of the population were left with no recourse, except to separate the Oligarchs from their wealth. It did not turn out too bad, for France.

The wealthy are wealthy now, and they have not done a damn thing about pulling the economy out of the ditch. In fact they were the one's that drove it off the road, in the first place.

Of course they will blame the poor, and say that things would have been much better, if Democrats had not insisted on raising the minimum wage, to a sub starvation level.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 13, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

"Where did our Quarterback go?"

On a plane. Will administer correction in due course.

What tao says is true. It sure used to be and has to be now that O is throwing bails of money overboard faster than the presses run.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

"CAN AFFORD 3% RAISE IN TAX RATE"

Ethan,

How in the BloodyHell do you know what any individual, or any aggregate group of individuals can afford?

You BloodyWell Don't.

Plus it's not your money, nor your place, nor your assinine right.

That 3% argument is the lib non-sequitur supreme.

Posted by: tao9 | September 13, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

tao9


I notice that you erected that fine strawman, about taking away all the money from the Very Wealthy. Of course; no one has called for that, so save your straw to pass out to the homeless in winter.

Lets us go back to the period, just before the Bush Tax Cuts were enacted. Those cuts for the Very Wealthy would not have ever even come up, if there was not already a lot of very wealthy people in the country.

How on earth did they manage to achieve that level of wealth, without the Bush Tax Cuts.

Do you get my drift, bucko? The Bush Tax cuts did not create the wealthy. They were already wealthy, and doing just fine, before those Tax Cuts, and so was the country.

The reality is; The Rich pushed to get to keep more and more money, and Bush catered to those greedy rich bastards, which ended up destroying much of the nation's middle class.

Fat Cats do not trickle down. They just keep on getting fatter fatter and fatter, while the working class descends into poverty.

To hell with making the very rich, even more wealthy. To hell with the sick joke, known as Trickle Down Economics.

A Rich guy will not buy as many appliances as a thousand working stiffs will. So, let us put the money in the hands of the working class, and they will spend it, and it will percolate up, creating jobs, and still allow the fat cats to take more than their fair share of the profits.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 13, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Good god in heaven! This is what Sarah Palin said yesterday...

“This Statue of Liberty was gifted to us by foreign leaders, really as a warning to us, it was a warning to us to stay unique and to stay exceptional from other countries. Certainly not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies,”

This individual is beyond hope.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 13, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

"$250,000/hshld.annum = CAN AFFORD 3% RAISE IN TAX RATE"

How do you know?

I can just as legitimately assert that EVERYONE! can afford a 3% rate increase.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

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