Monday, October 31, 2011

Must Read: "What's wrong with Washington?: Eric Cantor"

This letter to the editor nails it: Eric Cantor is at the root of Washington, DC's failures.
Our credit downgrade to AA+: While Obama and some Republican leaders sought a “grand bargain” to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion and place our country on a fiscally sustainable path, Cantor undermined the bipartisan negotiations by refusing to compromise on his extreme anti-tax ideology. His willingness to risk national default for partisan gain proved frightening; Standard & Poor’s cited political dysfunction as a primary reason for our credit downgrade.

Interfering with disaster aid: When tornadoes, floods and hurricanes devastated communities across the country, Cantor tried to make emergency assistance contingent on cuts elsewhere in the budget. It says something about Cantor’s priorities when families that have lost their homes and livelihoods must wait for assistance until House Republicans have finished their Washington-style bickering.

Comments about Occupy Wall Street: Cantor recently referred to the movement as “growing mobs” and accused its supporters of “pitting Americans against Americans.” As a Tea Party favorite who ought to understand grassroots activism, it is particularly disappointing that Cantor would respond to legitimate concerns about economic inequality in this country with little more than name-calling and allegations of class warfare.

Ties to disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff: Cantor accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Abramoff and his affiliates. In 2006, after the scope of Abramoff’s corruption became public (including his seeming efforts to influence public officials with campaign contributions, overseas golf trips and expensive gifts), Cantor gave about $10,000 of Abramoff-related money to charity.

Taxpayer-funded self-promotion: Cantor is producing a series of new flashy videos, known as “Snapshot of the Leader,” for his government website. While the videos are certainly artsy, they offer nothing in the way of substantive policy information that would further democratic discourse. For someone bent on cutting programs to reduce government spending, this video series would seem like a good place to start.
On second thought, this letter only scrapes the surface. As bad as this letter makes him sound, the real Eric Cantor is far worse.

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