Watching the Republican party flip out over the actual implementation of the sequestration deal has been rather amusing to me. Eric Cantor, who voted for the deal in August, 2011, tweeted recently that the deal will do terrible harm to everything we hold dear:
The sequester will harm important domestic priorities such as education, medical research, law enforcement, national security, and jobs.
Let us count the many levels of irony here. First of all, as noted above, Cantor voted in favor of sequestration. Secondly, about 2/3 of the votes in favor of the deal came from Republicans in the House, while about 2/3 of the votes against it were from Democrats (see the full vote here). Thirdly, Cantor himself, while complaining that the cuts will hurt everything, the other day demanded that the entire deficit be reduced solely through spending cuts and no tax increases:
BARTIROMO: So what are you willing to give on, Congressman? When you look at what the two sides are basically sticking to their guns, can it really be realistic to say taxes can never go up, that, you know, taxes should stay where they are forever in any environment? What are you willing to give on?
CANTOR: First of all, raising taxes is not the answer. We all know that. This problem is too large to think we can tax our way out of it. What we really need to be focused on is how big do we want the government to be, and begin to assess our priorities so we can manage down the deficit. That’s clearly how it is. Once we get a plan in place where, in fact, we’ve got a solution to the overspending, you know, we can begin to tell people their tax revenues will go to be paying off the deficit. But the problem is, Maria, there’s been an unwillingness to face up to the hard facts that there are obligations that have been assumed by the taxpayers, frankly, and there’s not enough money to satisfy those obligations. That’s what we have to sit down, iron out the differences, and go forward.
His version of “ironing out the differences” is that everyone do what he wants. But since what he wants is a trillion dollars in cuts and no consideration of higher revenues whatsoever, how does he propose making those cuts without creating the same harms he complains about above?
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