In a television interview this week Cantor said of his Republican Party’s legislative strategy:
What we are trying to do is fund the government and make sure also that we take away the kinds of things that are standing in the way of a growing economy, a better health care. And all the while keeping our eye focused on trying to deal with the ultimate problem, which is this growing deficit. And that means when we get to the issue of the debt ceiling, it’s not some sort of fictional process or just a process that we go through. What raising the debt limit means, it’s increasing the credit limit. For too long now, Washington has disregarded the fact that that does — what that does is it burdens our kids and theirs.As numerous commenters pointed out, there is no “growing deficit.” The federal budget deficit did grow significantly in the aftermath of the Bush-Cheney recession. Cantor was in office at the time, so he should have noticed. But since we regained a “growing economy” under President Obama, the deficit has shrunk.
Cantor’s politics have actually been “standing in the way of a growing economy, a better health care,” as when he tried to steer the US government toward default and led votes to end health-insurance reform. But again, OIP Derangement Syndrome evidently makes Cantor see things in reverse.
Cantor’s comments on the debt limit likewise have a “down is up” quality. During the Bush-Cheney administration he voted to increase the debt limit five times. That was a period in which the deficit actually grew, starting from a surplus at the end of the Clinton administration. Only when a new President took office did Cantor suddenly decide that it “burdens our kids” to raise the debt limit—i.e., to actually pay for the goods and services that the Congress he nominally helps to lead has already ordered.