Jonathan Chait

Eric Cantor's Gibberish

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Eric Cantor reacts to the jobs report:

"Just look at the jobs report today," Cantor added. "I cannot fathom how anybody, how anyone thinks right now is a good time to raise taxes. Who thinks that raising taxes on individuals and small businesses can help create jobs?"

I just want to point out again that there is literally no economic theory consistent with Cantor's argument. I wrote a TRB column last year explaining this fully. The short explanation is that, if you think the state of the business cycle should influence your fiscal policy, then you should oppose any spending cuts at all, and the tax cuts you support should be as progressive as possible. Alternatively, if you're worried about the incentive effects of tax cuts on business and the rich, then you don't care about whether unemployment is high or low at any particular moment. Cantor's position, which is the universal Republican position, is pure nonsense by absolutely any standard, including the most conservative standard.

That's even aside from the fact that nobody is proposing an immediate tax hike. Democrats are perfectly happy to phase in any tax increase slowly. Cantor's argument is nonsense economics piled on top of a factual misrepresentation.

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