In case you can't read the small type, the quote being held aloft for reporters this afternoon by Shadow Speaker Eric Cantor (while making the Blue Steel face) was uttered by Barack Obama on August 5, 2009. Cantor's point, we assume, is that Obama's current insistence on including tax increases in the debt-reduction plan conflicts with his own economic policies. Except Obama isn't proposing raising taxes during a recession, as he emphasized at his press conference this morning:
"I want to be crystal clear nobody has talked about increasing taxes now. Nobody has talked about increases increasing taxes next year ... So when you hear folks saying, well, the President shouldn't want massive, job-killing tax increases when the economy is this weak nobody is looking to raise taxes right now. We're talking about potentially 2013 and the out-years."
Cantor has been closely involved in the negotiations, so he knows exactly what Obama is proposing. To be fair, though, he may just be mentally exhausted from compromising so much:
Cantor said House Republicans had already made their compromises by being willing to vote for a debt ceiling increase in the first place. Allowing the government more ability to issue more debt was a “difficult” vote for fiscal conservatives, he said.
The GOP's compromise, in other words, was (hypothetically, assuming all of their demands are met) agreeing to not let a government default destroy the economy. Such a difficult decision. Lots of soul-searching. They're all compromised-out now. It's probably not even possible to compromise more at this point, even if they wanted to.
Eric Cantor holds firm on tax stance [Politico]