Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is rolling out his economic speech at the Heritage Foundation today with a lot of fanfare. Earlier this morning, he held a conference call that was fairly vague on details and heavy on explanations of how Democrats were blundering the economic recovery; that got some friendly coverage. Two hours before the speech, he has released excerpts of what he’ll say. Possibly the least surprising element: “Agreeing” not to consider tax increases until unemployment falls below 5 percent. In other words, if unemployment plunged 50 percent below today’s rate of 10.2 percent — something that would clearly mark the end of the recession and an economic revival — it would not be enough to justify any tax increase of any kind.
The basic points after the jump.
1.) “We must tear down self-imposed obstacles to economic growth and wealth creation. Therefore Congress and the Administration should stop the deluge of detrimental rules and regulations.”
2.) “We should agree to block any federal tax increases until unemployment drops below 5 percent. Americans of all political stripes can agree that the government should never raise taxes during periods of high unemployment.”
3.) “We need to restore confidence in America’s economic future. Record deficits and debts – coupled with runaway spending – have shaken confidence in our economic future. Many believe that the only solutions will be higher taxes or inflating the dollar, which promise lasting pain for small businesses and working families.”
4.) “We should reform the unemployment system to help people out of work find jobs.”
5.) “We need to approve three promising free trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama that have stalled under the new administration. Recently the President stated that increasing U.S. exports by just 1% would create over 250,000 jobs.”
7.) “We must deal swiftly and honestly with the looming commercial real estate collapse. Congress should move to give bank regulators incentives to deal responsibly with banks and their borrowers.”