GOP Congressman Eric Cantor this morning appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” and told host Joe Scarborough, co-host Mika Brzezinski, and John Heilemann and Mike Barnicle several falsehoods — which Scarborough, as a journalist, has a duty to know are falsehoods, and correct the record for his viewers.
Rep. Cantor falsely claimed that raising taxes on the rich will not fix the deficit. “I don’t care if you raise taxes 100% on the wealthy. You’re not going to fix the deficit problem.”
In, “Ten Numbers the Rich Would Like Fudged,” Paul Buchheit at Common Dreams notes:
“Only THREE PERCENT of the very rich are entrepreneurs,” “An amount equal to ONE-HALF the GDP is held untaxed overseas by rich Americans,” “Corporations stopped paying HALF OF THEIR TAXES after the recession,” and, yes, “Tax deductions for the rich could pay off 100 PERCENT of the deficit.”
So, Cantor’s wrong. And Scarborough’s not practicing journalism.
“We fix this problem by getting a handle on entitlement spending,” Cantor also stated.
Scarborugh challenged neither statement.
Scarborough didn’t even bring up defense spending, despite the fact that defense cuts are not only part of the “fiscal cliff,” but they amount to $711 billion annually.
“When I go to the constituents that have elected me, it is not about that pledge. It’s really about trying to solve problems,” Rep. Cantor said. “Boehner went to the White House ten days ago and said Republicans are willing to put revenues on the table . . .. And we said we’re willing to do that to fix problems, to respond to the electorate that re-elected this President.”
The “electorate that re-elected this president” wants taxes raised on the wealthy. period. Doubt it? John Nichols at The Nation today doesn’t. In “A Mandate to Raise Taxes on the Rich? Election Numbers Say ‘Yes’,” Nichols writes that ‘Obama has a 4.2 million popular vote lead over Romney, for a 50.79 percent to 47.48 percent margin. The margin is likely to grow over the next several weeks.”
Yes, let’s repeat that last fact: Barack Obama did not just receive a higher raw vote total than Reagan—as is to be expected with an expanding electorate. Barack Obama has earned a higher percentage of the vote than Reagan—50.79 for Obama this year to 50.75 for Reagan in 1980.
Add on the fact that Obama will win the Electoral College by 332-206, an overwhelming margin, and that he carried all but one of the swing states identified by both parties, and that his party picked up two seats in the Senate and that it continues to displace Tea Party Republicans (such as Florida’s Allen West) in the House, and the question of whether Obama won the minimal mandate to tinker with tax rates for the very wealthy should be settled.
Yes, if George Bush had any kind of mandate in 2004, if Bill Clinton had any kind of mandate in 1996, if Ronald Reagan had any kind of mandate in 1980, then Barack Obama has some kind of mandate in 2012. And anyone who paid attention to the messages of the 2012 campaign—from Obama’s explicit declarations that he would ask the rich to “pay a little bit more” to Romney and Ryan’s “makers versus takers” meme—knows that a referendum was held on whether to hike taxes for millionaires and billionaires. And a lot more voters said “yes” than said “no.”
Did Scarborough blink, or mention any of this?
Scarborough even had the gall to frame the issue by asking Cantor how President Obama can force Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to meet the GOP half way on entitlement reform, because Cantor claims that entitlements are the big problem.
Cantor claims that getting rid of Obamacare will improve the deficit.
Cantor proceded to spin this tale:
“I was in Missoula, Montana during the campaign and I met a gentlemen who had taken a job as a cook in an airport restaurant, and he told me, ‘Please fix this problem, because I want to get back to my profession,’ which was construction in the real estate industry. He said, ‘Please, we need more jobs. I need to go back to where my skill set is best used.’”
“If there is a small business person out there in Montana, if you’re saying you’re going to raise taxes, that will be less money in his pocket to hire this gentleman away from being a cook and back to the profession he wants, so he can make the kind of money he’s looking to make,” Cantor claimed.
But as America now knows, the Congressional Research Service was forced to squash “an economic report that found no correlation between top tax rates and economic growth, a central tenet of conservative economic theory, after Senate Republicans raised concerns about the paper’s findings and wording,” the New York Times reported November 1.
Any mention of this from Joe Scarborough, or any of the other journalists sitting at the table?
Are you as angry as I am?
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