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Cantor Discusses Debt Reduction, Economic Growth With The Wall Street Journal


Location: Washington, DC

The Republican Majority Came To Washington To Change The System: "If we step back and look at what really happened in this deal, it certainly was not a perfect piece of legislation, I don't think that anyone was satisfied with it. I do think there are some incremental victories here that we ought to accept and build upon. The first is the struggle that ensued over the last several months that had to do with the fact that we, as a Republican Majority, have members who really have come to Washington to change the system. What this bill said, is we are no longer going to just increase the debt limit without exacting some kind of spending cuts.

"Everyone knows that Washington has a spending problem, and that is fueling this tremendous amount of borrowing that is going on. The second is the fact that really it is all cuts and no tax increases. One of the things that was central to the disagreement throughout the last several months in Washington was that we, as Republicans, felt now certainly is not the time to raise taxes on the middle class in this country, on small businesses in this country, or on working families, because as we know the economy is ailing, and that is counterintuitive to think you ought to raise taxes. Lastly, I think we will have the discussion about deficit spending, about the need to get the fiscal house in order for the next several months. Central to doing that is to make the President defend his policies, which have immediately after the passage of this bill, continued to push more taxes and more spending."

Let's Stop The Spending And Get A Favorable Environment For Growth: "Remember the TEA party backed members - and the acronym is "taxed enough already" - represent a limited government perspective. The perspective that you want to starve the beast in Washington so that you can allow for the private sector to grow, so you can take away decisions of allocating capital, of deciding who wins and who loses, away from Washington and put it back where it belongs with the people. If you look at the 87 new freshman that have come to our Conference, that make up a third of our Majority, they have always been very certain in what their mission was, and their mission was to stop the spending and get a more favorable environment for growth."

Growth Is A Solution For Managing Down The Debt And Deficit: "Most people that I talk to in my district in Virginia, or throughout the country, realize Washington is spending money it doesn't have. When I talk to small business people in my hometown of Richmond, they'll ask me, why are you wasting my taxpayer dollars the way you are in Washington? We know in looking at the numbers, you can't just do it by cuts alone, there has to be reform to the entitlement system and equal to that, there has to be growth. Growth is a solution both to managing down the debt and deficit, and trying to help people get back to work and enjoy some prosperity. People are tired of the pain, and want to be given some hope. Sensible, prudent fiscal management can give you a foundation for that, but we need to lay out a vision for how America can lead again. For how our young people, our students coming through school now, will have the opportunities in this country the way we have, and to ensure that we can continue to innovate, to compete in this country."

The House Is Not Going To Support An Increase In Taxes: "We have to bear in mind that the deficit savings that we may achieve through spending cuts could very well be dwarfed by the fact that we're not seeing a growing economy that we're not seeing jobs created, and we don't see some action for wealth creation. That really has to be the focus here, going back to what I've seen over the last three months in these meetings with the Administration. They don't believe that any grand deal or bargain can be struck without raising taxes…Given that is their position, I think the focus needs to stay on cutting spending. This select committee has been tasked with the job of trying to identify those cuts, and frankly in the Biden talks, we identified between 2 and 2.3 trillion dollars in cuts that we can pick right up off the table and put to work. Now again, that would take the other side saying okay, let's just focus on cuts not tax hikes. But I can tell you, as we saw things play out in the House, the House is not going to support an increase in taxes. Again, this economic news that keeps coming out, makes the case even stronger, we ought not be raising taxes."

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