Frankly, there are a few curious aspects of this interview of Eric Cantor on CNN. First we have the headline, “Cantor: Cuts alone cannot save us,” which Cantor more or less says but sounds a bit like an endorsement of tax increases. It’s not; in discussing entitlement reform, Cantor argues that we need strong economic growth in addition to structural reform in order to shore up these programs, and that tax increases will interfere with that economic growth. Next, Kiran Chetry cites a few polls to Cantor to challenge his opposition to tax hikes, but cites polls from December (or at least they’re labeled as such) — a fact you’ll only notice if you pause the video when the graphics pop up on the screen. It’s not as if there aren’t more recent polls to cite in support of her challenges, either, but it seems at least one of the polls that Chetry picks was taken before the tax deal Obama made with Republicans, which suggests that the White House didn’t put too much stock into them.
But for irony, Cantor’s puzzlement over Barack Obama’s rumored call for more taxes just as most Americans are calculating just how much they pay now is the most remarkable point of all:
This gets back to an earlier point made today by Jen Rubin and myself on the reactive nature of the White House to John Boehner and Paul Ryan. The administration seems suddenly panicked into action on entitlement reform and deficit reduction, so much so that they’re resurrecting the deficit commission’s report that they discarded two months ago rather than work through a new plan of their own. Who in the White House thought a call for higher taxes on April 13th would be a great idea?