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April 15, 2011

CANTOR CLAIMS CREDIT FOR DEMOCRATS' JOBS RECORD.... Oh, Eric Cantor. Are there are any foolish claims you won't make?

Yesterday, House Democrats took note of the fact that it was the 100th day of the new Republican rule in the chamber. Most notably, Dems emphasized the fact that the GOP, despite a year of campaign promises, haven't even considered any jobs bills, with Republicans instead preferring to waste time on pointless gamesmanship and culture war crusades.

As if to say, "Oh yeah?" House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) turned to Twitter to respond to the Democratic argument.

cantorjobs.JPG

Now, when it comes to the arithmetic, at least Cantor's count is correct. The first three months of 2011 have been pretty good for the job market -- overall the economy has created 478,000 jobs, and if we look exclusively at the private sector, the total reaches 564,000 jobs.

The problem, of course, is the breathtaking shamelessness of the oft-confused Majority Leader claiming credit for these encouraging job numbers.

Indeed, by Cantor's own reasoning, the boast doesn't even make any sense. How can all of these jobs be created in the midst of Obama-induced uncertainty? And with crushing tax rates so high? And with pesky regulations stifling the engines of ingenuity? Are we to believe Republicans' mere presence in the House of Representatives is enough to overcome these burdensome hurdles? And if so, why do we need to act on the GOP agenda at all?

For that matter, how can all of these jobs be created when Republicans haven't actually passed any economic policies? Apparently, just knowing Republicans are working hard on abortion legislation that can't pass and attacking NPR has inspired employers nationwide.

Please.

The reality here is so easy to understand, even Eric Cantor should recognize it. The job market in late 2008 and early 2009 was in freefall, devastated by failed Republican policies, with the economy shedding nearly 800,000 jobs per month. The Recovery Act passed in February 2009, and the employment picture immediately began to improve. We saw growth continue throughout 2010 -- even after those rascally Democrats passed health care reform and Wall Street reform -- while Republicans said Dems were killing the economy.

These successes built a healthier economy and a foundation for the kind of job growth we're starting to see in 2011. If Eric Cantor, with exactly zero legislative victories under his belt, wants to claim credit for this, he's either not very bright, or he's assuming we're not very bright.

Kevin Drum makes a compelling case for the latter -- Cantor's message is "almost comically shameless," but the Republican makes the case anyway because Republicans are "willing to be shameless and they don't really care if anyone calls them on it." After all, "If you say that your policies are responsible for economic growth enough times, people will believe it."

Alas, that's true. We would ideally have a news media that would offer a disincentive for nonsense like this -- political leaders wouldn't want to appear foolish for making demonstrably ridiculous claims, knowing that reporters would call them on it -- just as, ideally, we'd have House leaders who knew what they were talking about and wanted to tell the public the truth. That's not in the cards.

But for anyone who cares about the facts, they're readily available, and they're the opposite of what Cantor claims.

Steve Benen 8:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (22)

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Comments

When there is no disincentive to lying- indeed, it is more often rewarded- why would anyone struggle with arcane "Facts", why tell the "Truth"?

As Groucho said, "Who you gonna believe- me, or your lying eyes?"

Posted by: DAY on April 15, 2011 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

America is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and is starting to invest. We have always been a glass-half-full nation.

Posted by: Al on April 15, 2011 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

"For that matter, how can all of these jobs be created when Republicans haven't actually passed any economic policies? "

Steve, Steve...You are clearly oblivious to the genius of the GOP economic stratagy...They are implementing their "Less is More" stratagy, wherein, true to their anti-government approach, they are doing nothing and letting the policies of the Democrats...err, I mean, market forces solve all our problems.

Posted by: bignose on April 15, 2011 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

Cantor's calculation is that there are uninformed voters 'out there' who are worried about jobs and might believe it. Informed voters, who are not going to believe him in any case, are not his concern.

Posted by: MattF on April 15, 2011 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks Al! But try not to dwell on McNamara's obsession!

As far as Eric Cantor, is it just me? Or have others noticed nothing smart, relevant to observational evidence or particularly sustaining coming from the mouth of Mr. Cantor over the past two or so years?

Damn, I have a hard time trying to listen to Eric Cantor and match his words with even a lick of common sense! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 15, 2011 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

"But for anyone who cares about the facts"

Yep, that's it. 50% of the country doesn't, they are on Cantor's side, and he knows it.

Posted by: Mark-NC on April 15, 2011 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

what a shameless Idiot.The #notintendedtobeafactualstatement king . It will however be accepted as fact within the Faux alternate reality.

And BTW Mr. Kyl our deepest appreciation for providing us with the definitive phrase to describe all Luntz-O-grams and Republican talking points.

Posted by: John R AKA Mr. Serf Man on April 15, 2011 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

It is truly sad that Steve rightly thinks there is a need for his post. If we had a functioning media, they would either ignore Cantor or openly laugh at him. Better yet they might ask him how Republicans are responsible for job creation since the beginning of the year.

As it is a lot of media types will jump on Cantor's twitter and accept its premise without question, or they will frame it as "Republicans point to 478,000 new jobs since the first of the year as proof of the wisdom of their policies. Are they right? You decide." Then they will "interview" a hard right conservative from the Heritage Foundation and unknown but good looking "Democratic consultant" their booker met at a local bar.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 15, 2011 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

To be fair, his tweet didn't specify who's responsible for the 487,000 jobs, just that they were created.

OTOH, He'll happily do a 180 when the recession double dips thanks to his policies and blame Democrats for that.

Posted by: SWENXOF on April 15, 2011 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

The wonderful thing about this idiot is that he is making it easier to hang the downturn that is coming around the austerity policies that they are pushing. As it should rightly and empirically be held.

Posted by: SW on April 15, 2011 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

For that matter, how can all of these jobs be created when Republicans haven't actually passed any economic policies? Apparently, just knowing Republicans are working hard on abortion legislation that can't pass and attacking NPR has inspired employers nationwide.

Bzzzt. Prior to last year's election, employers weren't hiring because of uncertainty. We know this to be true because Republicans said it was. Since the Republicans gained control of the House, it's become clear that they're not going to actually do anything, thus dispelling the uncertainty and enabling employers to begin hiring. It's all about the uncertainty.

Oh, and tax cuts pay for themselves.

Posted by: josef on April 15, 2011 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

We have a winner!! Against extremely tough competition, Cantor pulled it out and is officially the dumbest person in the world. His mom must be so proud.

Posted by: montana on April 15, 2011 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not up to speed on Twitter - did any "tweeters" out there smack down Cantor's claim? And tell the truth that Republicans voted against every single Democratic bill that created these jobs? I might have to finally get twitter-ized so I can participate in the conversation.

Posted by: June on April 15, 2011 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

The numbers were achieve IN SPITE of Cantor, not because of him. Hope someone pointed that out in Twitter (unfortunately, I don't Tweet).

Posted by: bdop4 on April 15, 2011 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

Funny how someone like Cantor who has ridden more coattails than anyone else in congress, has the gall to proclaim himself @GOPLeader.

That, and his blatant manufacturing of a connection between job growth and his smirking obstructionism, are just two more examples of the Conservative's tendency toward lying.

Perhaps his tweet was not intended to be a factual statement.

Posted by: jcricket on April 15, 2011 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

The Whitehouse response should be "You're Welcome".

Posted by: ComradeAnon on April 15, 2011 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

This is the same person who claimed Bush's tax cuts did not work because of 9/11 - for 8 years they did not work because of 9/11! But now, 100 Days of nothing has this tremendous effect??

Posted by: NealD on April 15, 2011 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

he's either not very bright, or he's assuming we're not very bright.

Both are true: Cantor's not bright, but neither are most Americans.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on April 15, 2011 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

In GOP-world, the fear of Obama's election brought about the economic crash before he was even elected, so obviously they have no difficulty believing that the mere hope of an incoming GOP Congress riding to the rescue reinvigorated the economy, even without them doing anything.

Posted by: Redshift on April 15, 2011 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

How can all of these jobs be created in the midst of Obama-induced uncertainty?

It's virtually certain the cons will claim renewal of the Bush tax cuts improved the economy (assuming the economy improves). This is the claim Obama's going to have to deal with during the campaign when the time nears to let the tax cuts expire at the end of 2012. It's his bed...

Posted by: CDW on April 15, 2011 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

This is how the GOP rolls...everything happens by MAGIC. We don't need no stinkin' revenue, we didn't vote for TARP, everyone that needs health care HAS IT ALREADY and we didn't have to do ANYTHING.

Posted by: SYSPROG on April 15, 2011 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Dem response should be: "Dear Eric Cantor: Thank you for noticing that the Democrats' policies over the past two years continue to create jobs in 2011!"

Smackdown.

Posted by: Hannah on April 15, 2011 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK
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