There will be no compromise on the Bush tax cuts in the lame duck session if House Minority Whip Eric Cantor has anything to say about it. Appearing on Fox News’ On The Record last night, Cantor made it clear that he will not be supporting any efforts to compromise on extending the cuts set to expire next year. Cantor told Greta Van Susteren that last Tuesday’s election gave the still-minority GOP the mandate to vote only to extend all the cuts, not a compromise package of cuts that Democrats say lessen the long-term fiscal impact of extending the massive tax cuts created by the Republican Congress and President Bush back in 2001.
“Between now and January 1st,” Van Susteren asked, “is there any compromise you can make on taxes?”
“No,” Cantor said. “Taxes shouldn’t be going up on anybody right now.”
Some Democrats have suggested a plan which would permanently extend all the Bush cuts on middle class Americans while only temporarily extending the cuts on wealthy earners during the recession. Cantor told Fox that plan is a no-go.
One of the ideas that we’ve seen floated is decoupling - that is we would extend the tax rate as they are for those making under two hundred thousand permanently or within the maximum budgetary window and somehow do it less of a time for those higher earners. That is just a signal right then and there that we are going to raise taxes on small businesses. That’s exactly what we don’t need right now. What we need is certainty, what we need is to get the entrepreneurs and investors back to being willing to commit capital.
Cantor said that unless all the cuts are extended for everyone, businesses won’t be ready to spend money because they won’t know what to expect next. “We’ve got to put certainty back into the game and get these tax rates to stay the same, and keep the tax rates in check,” he said. “So we can go about beginning to grow this economy again.”
Cantor’s line is similar to that heard from other Republican leaders in the lead up to Tuesday’s election. Back in September, expected incoming Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told an audience that he couldn’t see a possible deal on extending the cuts, either. Following his party’s “shellacking,” however, Obama has called for compromise in the hopes, Obama says, that something can be done before the cuts expire for everyone at the start of the year.
Cantor’s not making that path an easy one. He suggested any plan to compromise on the cuts was a return to Democratic policies that he says voters rejected last week.
“Their class warfare agenda just didn’t work,” Cantor said.
He also reiterated his criticisms of Nancy Pelosi’s expected election to the Minority Leader slot in the new shrunken Democratic caucus. Perhaps ironically considering his take-no-prisoners attitude on tax cuts, Cantor said the problem with Pelosi is, in a nutshell, that she’s unwilling to compromise.
“I certainly hope that we can produce results with this Congress,” Cantor said. “If there’s one thing I can tell you about my relationship with Speaker Pelosi, it is one that really hasn’t produced much at all because she’s been unwilling to sit down whatsoever to talk about policy.”