By Tony Romm - 04/17/10 10:00 AM EDT
House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) on Saturday charged that
President Barack Obama had signed into law 25 tax increases since
taking office in an attempt "to remake America in the image of Europe."
Just two days after Tea Party groups across the country protested Tax Day, the April 15 deadline by which Americans have to file their income fax forms, the House's second-most powerful Republican railed on the president and congressional Democrats in his party's radio address, stressing their approach to fiscal issues would only "make the 'tax days' of the future much, much worse."
"President Obama has signed 25 tax increases passed by the Democratically controlled Congress into law that will cost families and small business people more than $670 billion over the next 10 years," Cantor said, noting Obama had broken his campaign promise not to raise taxes on those making less than $200,000
“The Democrats control every lever of power in Washington and they’ve never met a tax they didn’t like or found a dollar they couldn’t spend," he added. "Their economic plan? You pay, they spend, your children owe. You deserve better."
The White House is sure to take issue with Cantor's characterization of the president's tax and spending record, as the Obama administration has long stressed that its $787 billion federal stimulus saved the economy from the brink and offered a slew of new tax breaks to millions of Americans.
But Cantor's address nonetheless keeps alive controversial comments made earlier this week by Paul Volcker, chairman of the President's Economic Recovery Board.
At a speech before the New York Historical Society this week, Volcker suggested the introduction of a "value-added tax" (VAT) would help lawmakers raise enough revenue to offset the country's burgeoning budget deficit without cutting entitlement spending. “If at the end of the day we need to raise taxes, we should raise taxes,” Volcker told the crowd.
However, the remark promptly sent the White House into damage-control mode, stressing it was not exploring a VAT and that Volcker was only speaking for himself. But the remark nonetheless infuriated Republicans, who charged it was wrong for the White House to even consider a tax increase during a recession.
Soon after the incident, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) successfully
organized a "sense of the Senate" resolution that condemned the
introduction of the VAT, which Democrats and Republicans mostly
approved. Not a single Senate member of the president's debt-reduction
task force voted against McCain's proposal.
Ultimately, Cantor derided Volcker's proposal as "European," stressing it was evidence voters would soon begin "paying more and more." He consequently implored voters to carry what he described as Tax Day frustrations to the polls this November.
“Down one path is the Democrats’ a trillion dollar healthcare overhaul, a stimulus law that failed to meet expectations for job creation, the taxpayer funded bailouts of private companies, and a cap-and-trade policy that will impose a massive energy tax upon all Americans, Cantor explained. “But take hope. Down the other path is responsible, adult leadership, focused firmly on job creation and economic opportunity."