House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., who has had plenty of criticism for the Occupy Wall Street protesters, plans to address this week an issue that the 99 percent movement has made the central part of their platform: income inequality.According to OpenSecrets.org, Rep. Cantor's net worth on his most recent disclosure form in 2009 was between $2.2 million & $7.5 million. And Cantor didn't pull himself up by his bootstraps - working for his dad's real estate firm is his only private-sector job that I'm aware of. Between Rep. Cantor and top GOP presidential candidate & member of the top 1% Mitt "Middle Class" Romney, could President Obama ask for better examples of how the GOP is part of the problem?
Cantor is scheduled to speak Friday at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, where he'll discuss income disparity and what the GOP believes government's role should be in fixing it. An aide for Cantor told Politico that the speech will address how lawmakers in Washington can help average citizens such as single mothers and small business owners, as well as "how we can make sure the people at the top stay there."
The Virginia congressman has said some Occupy Wall Street protesters -- as well as the Democrats who support them -- are essentially pitting "Americans against Americans," something he's trying to distance Republicans from by emphasizing how Americans can all "work together" to solve the nation's economic problems. However, it was only last month that many congressional Republicans used the term "class warfare" to attack a move by the Obama administration to increase taxes on millionaires.
In early January, at a closed-door retreat for the GOP caucus in Baltimore, Cantor gave a speech trying to reframe the debt ceiling as "a leverage moment" over Obama. "I made the point that, look, this is an opportunity for us because we are in essence a blocking minority in Washington," he told me.House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) at a Capitol Hill news conference:
"I think at this point Washington has become so dysfunctional that we've got to start focusing on the incremental progress we can make," Cantor said.The New York piece by Jason Zengerle is worth reading in its entirety to get a complete sense of how full of himself Rep. Cantor really is (and how he surrounds himself with sycophants who remind him if he ever forgets). But these quotes are as much of an indictment of the Beltway media as of Cantor himself. Why NOT talk out of one side of your mouth to your base & another to sound reasonable to the general public as long as the media refuses to point that out? All we get is, "Obama says one thing, Cantor says another, who can say who's reasonable? We'll have to leave it there."
He draws out the vowels in a style that is part southern, part smarty-pants. Had young Cantor spoken like this at his prep school in Richmond, the bigger boys may well have wiped that sneer off his face. Yet even then, Cantor was accustomed to having things his way. According to Cantor's hometown Richmond Times-Dispatch, the quotation he chose to accompany his yearbook photo was "I want what I want when I want it."From Rappahannock to Richmond, do voters in Virginia's 7th Congressional district really want their representative playing chicken with destroying America's economy to build his own personal power?
What Cantor wants now is power - and he is prepared to risk the full faith and credit of the United States to get it. In a primacy struggle with House Speaker John Boehner, he has done a deft job of aligning himself with Tea Party House members in opposition to any meaningful deal to resolve the debt. If the U.S. government defaults, it will have much to do with Cantor.