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Posted on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

Eric Cantor criticizes 'wealth redistribution' and Occupy protesters during University of Michigan speech

By Kellie Woodhouse

Related Story: Eric Cantor greeted with Halloween-style protest upon visit to University of Michigan

Inside the University of Michigan League, U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, spoke of the opportunity of Americans to move up “the economic ladder.”

Outside, a group of about 70 students and Ann Arbor residents protested a perceived economic inequality that they say makes it too difficult to climb that ladder.

The House majority leader gave a speech today at the Michigan League in Ann Arbor as a part of a lecture series at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

“Social justice is about fairness. Fairness is making sure that we afford opportunities for everyone to pursue their happiness,” Cantor said. “There are several folks that have stood up to say tax the rich. That that’s somehow fair.”

“That all we have to do is redistribute the wealth and we can create the American dream for more.” he continued. “That doesn’t work… wealth distribution doesn’t work.”

A group of protesters —including activists from the Occupy Ann Arbor movement— stood outside the League denouncing Cantor’s political and economic policies. Another dozen stood in protest after Cantor finished his speech.

They held signs saying ‘Cantor works for the 1 percent, who will work for the 99 percent?’ and ‘R.I.P. Workers Rights’ and yelled phrases such as “Eric Cantor trick-or-treat, give us some more flesh to eat.”

During a press conference afterward, Cantor criticized the movement.

“To me if you’ve got a problem you ought to go about trying to fix it in a constructive manner,” he said.

Cantor also rebuked the negative rhetoric that some protesters use.

“Lets not pit one against another… we shouldn’t root for anyone to be torn down,” he said before the audience, adding that while he understands the “frustration” of protesters, “ire and hatred toward certain people is not something that is constructive and I don’t think it’s reflective of the majority of America.”

Cantor recently canceled a speech he was scheduled to give at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business because activists affiliated with the Occupy Philadelphia movement planned a large-scale protest of the speech.

“We come to speak to students, that’s why we’re here at the University of Michigan,” Cantor said. “The decision in Philly had to do with the fact that there were going to be no students to speak of in the 350-seat auditorium, instead professional protesters.”

At U-M, event attendance was open to both students and non-students, but limited to 250 people.

At today’s speech, Cantor avoided questions about same-sex marriage, calling the issue “controversial” and saying that “I just believe in traditional marriage.”

He also admonished against blaming a particular party for the nation’s deficit, saying “there’s enough blame to go around on all sides.”

The crux of Cantor’s speech, however, concerned his view of social and economic mobility, something he calls "America's economic ladder."

He spoke of his Jewish grandmother fleeing religious persecution in Europe when she chose to move to America.

“My grandmother faced a future where no matter how hard she worked, no matter how hard she studied, no matter how smart she was, there were limits… There was only so far she could go,” he said. “But our country is not like that. America offered opportunity.”

Cantor said that politicians in Washington should be concerned with “providing people with equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.”

Cantor, who has served in the house since 2001 and was elected majority leader in January, was originally scheduled to speak in February, but cancelled due to inclement weather. His daughter, Jenna, is a sophomore at U-M.

U-M President Mary Sue Coleman praised the university’s “appreciation of different view points and political philosophies” before introducing Cantor.

“We take seriously our obligation to open the world to our students,” Coleman said.

U-M student and protester Ian Matchett said that he and his fellow picketers didn't "want to let Eric Cantor come to our campus unopposed."

"The university is trying to frame it like he's a respected public figure and we should just be happy to have him at our campus," he said. "And we want to make it clear that, though he may be a large voice in the national discourse, he's not a great or respectable voice."

Max Heller, a junior business major at U-M, said the speech had “particular relevance… to members of our generation.”

“The congressmen tried to provide a place for students to ask questions and I am glad that members of the community who were so interested participated,” he said.


Majority House Leader Eric Cantor speaks Monday at the Michigan League on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Joseph Tobianski I

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Austin Land

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 2:39 p.m.

"a group of about 70 students and Ann Arbor residents protested a perceived economic inequality that they say makes it too difficult to climb that ladder..." Perceived? Really? In the second line of this article, you are going to qualify economic inequality? You and I don't have the same amount of money. A?B, inequality, get it? No qualifier needed. Fact. Tautology. There IS economic inequality. We can debate whether or not the causes of that inequality make it difficult to "climb the ladder" but not whether or not there IS inequality.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.

We don't want to redistribute the wealth what we want is the the wealthy pay their fair share if they have 90% of the wealth they should pay 90% of the taxes. Not an 90% tax just 90% of they taxes we ALL should have to pay. The poor and disabled have no wealth to speak of and shouldn't be requier to pay any taxes


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:13 p.m.

Maybe its time to move from Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Congress. Lets face it, the politicians are owned by people and corporations who pay to keep them in office so they can get favorable policies. This allows them to redistribute the wealth from the middle class to the upperest (okay not a real word) class.

Antonia Charles

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:05 p.m.

Conservatives use the term "wealth redistribution" to suggest that what is being adovcated is akin to socialism; the old scare tactic. What a joke - wealth is ALREADY being redistributed, just not in a way that benefits most of us.

Ed Kimball

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 12:16 p.m.

I agree with Mr. Cantor that "wealth distribution doesn't work." In particular, the redistribution of so much of it from the middle class to the top 1% of the population over the last 30 years or so has not worked well for the country.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 12:13 p.m.

**equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.** Why don't these occupy people try something new? Like WORKING or going to school for 80+ hours a week like most people on the street do vs. sitting on their chairs in tents (is that ok to say???) for 80+ hours a week. **equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.**

Hot Sam

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 11:46 a.m.

I continue to be baffled at how, when watching a "fixed" game, that so many are content to blame the winning team, while ignoring the dirty referee... In fact, they actually support the dirty referee and seem to want more of them! Astounding...

David Paris

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

Sam, no one who is against Wall Street Greed are inclined to vote for those in office, such as Eric Cantor, who perpetuate the downward spiral for the rest of us, if those are "the dirty referees" of which you speak.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 11:18 a.m.

One of the demands of OWAA was forgive student loans. I have not heard anyone ask for higher education institutes to do a better job training people to get a job. Also I do not see any complaints about the $780,000 that the U of M president gets. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Steve Pepple

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 11:09 a.m.

A comment containing masked profanity has been removed.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

ooooh, I see... doesn't agree with you mean... so teapublican, republicon etc are all ok... I see... thanks for clarifying... (eyes rolling, oh wait, is that ok to say??)


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 11:02 a.m.

Is this what those mean 1 percenters do with their money? What a bunch of moonbats at the League yesterday. <a href=""></a>


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 5:33 a.m.

The dozen gay protestors and one red shirted nurse in the audience had zero class blocking the view of those who came to see the Majority Leader as they stood with backs turned to Cantor showing no respect. If Coach Hoke were there he'd proclaim: This is NOT Michigan for God's sake!

Peter Jameson

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 4:37 a.m.

those darn tea-publicans are always snatching all the money! I think I'll make a sign and stand in a public place!

G. Orwell

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 3:02 a.m.

I don't know if anyone has made the distinction. We definitely SHOULD NOT redistribute the wealth. Mr. Cantor is right. If we did, we'd be a communist nation. However, what Mr. Cantor avoids revealing is that we need to stop the corruption where the corrupt super rich have bought off the politicians. Those are the ones we need to go after. Not the rich that have worked hard all their lives to earn his/her wealth legally. It's the corrupt rich that get the government contracts worth billions and billions of dollars and inside information. Not restaurateurs, small manufacturer, retailers, doctors, lawyers, etc. Go after the mega bankers, the Halliburtons, the ExxonMobiles, Warren Buffet, George Soros, Bill Gates, Dick Cheney, Bush, Clinton, Obama, Rockerfellers, Kissinger. Claw back all the ill gotten gains then throw them in jail. Also, kick out the rats occupying Washington DC. Then the average person has a chance for a decent life.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.

G. Good point. If you had more space here I am sure you would have included Big Labor and Big University in your list. Their paid for Reps in DC make sure the money train stops at their door. Federal student loan programs facilitate the transfer of funds from the Feds to Universities. Schools can raise tuition because after all parents can get a low interest loan to pay it. John Dingell has been playing this game for almost 60 years.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 5:34 a.m.

He said that clearly, those who break the rules should be punished.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 2:41 a.m.

This was a golden opportunity to question these 70 students protesting &quot;the Obama economy&quot;. It would have been comic gold to hear what these adult children, educated by the democrat media and left wing pc democrat university, think they know about the state of the economy and economics in general. My guess is something like WE DON'T WANT MUCH, JUST MORE.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:36 a.m.

How much was Can'tor paid to give this speech anyway? I Can't see him doing this for free.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:32 a.m.

Yes there is class warfare going on it was started by the rich claiming that the middle class where getting to much money, benefits and healthcare and then blaming the poor, the old and less educated for causing it while make hugh profits on stocks and dividens and paying lower taxes. A tax cut never created a job because it makes more sense to invest in stocks and bonds.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

Cantor, if wealth redistribution is so wrong or unfair, why have the top 1% been working so hard, and so successfully through your party, at redistributing wealth to themselves over the last 30 years? We don't have to look very far to see the devastation it has caused for the middle class. Please spare us the self serving sermon.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:02 a.m.

read R I P European Demoracy 1945-2010 <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;pageId=362145</a>


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 12:25 a.m.

Letters Reveal Eric Cantor Begged For Obama Stimulus Money To Create Jobs October 31, 2011 By Jason Easley Among the Tea Partiers Newsweek uncovered begging for federal dollars, one name stood out. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor requested tens of millions of federal stimulus dollars to create jobs in his district. During a March 1, 2009 appearance on ABC's This Week, Rep. Cantor said that the government can't create jobs, "And what we see in this budget, frankly, is an attempt, again, to try and stimulate the economy through government expenditure. And, you know, at best what that can do is redistribute wealth. It can't create jobs; it can't create wealth. We've got to get back to focusing on job creation and creating prosperity." Newsweek has uncovered letters that show Rep. Cantor requesting hundreds of millions of stimulus dollars for his district at the same time; he was publicly claiming that government can't create jobs. Just a month after going on ABC and claiming that the government can't create jobs, Cantor sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to request almost $75 million in federal stimulus funds for the I-95 high speed rail project. Cantor along with Rep. Bobby Scott wrote that, "High speed rail provides a sensible and viable solution to our region's transportation challenges. It is estimated that creating a high speed railway through Virginia will generate as many as 185,500 jobs, as much as $21.2 billion in economic development, and put nearly 6.5 million cars off the road annually." In 2010, Eric Cantor wrote in the book Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders that, "Government doesn't create jobs and build wealth; entrepreneurs, risk takers and private businesses do," but just months earlier he was still requesting federal money for job creation. continued...

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:20 p.m.

It's hypocrisy when, at the same time, he lambastes the president for creating the programs. Either the programs create jobs or they don't. If they don't create jobs, no reason for Rep. Cantor to demand money for his district that will do the district little good. If they do create jobs, there's every reason for Rep. Cantor to want some of the money for his district, but that then makes him a hypocrite AND a liar. Good Night and Good Luck


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 12:37 a.m.

Geez...... Trying to get a fair share for his constituents is now defined as hypocrisy? I suppose when the Lame Duck Democratic controlled congress refused to let the Bush tax cuts expire in December 2010 that hypocrisy takes on a new meaning? The Lib mind never ceases to amaze.....rooted in hypocrisy.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 12:26 a.m.

In October 2009, Cantor and several other Congressmen from both parties sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for $60 million in federal funds to be added to the Title XI Ship Loan Guarantee program. Cantor and the others wrote, "Once an application for a Title XI loan guarantee is approved, the construction order is immediately placed in a shipyard, instantaneously creating and sustaining thousands of jobs in the shipyard and supplier base for two to three years." While speaking the language of the tea party publicly, Eric Cantor was doing the exact opposite privately. It turns out that Cantor knows that government spending creates jobs. He admitted as much in his own letters. The tea party and Republican voters have been sold an empty bill of goods. Their leaders talk about cutting government spending publicly while angling privately for more taxpayer dollars for their districts. It seems that the Republican zeal for cutting spending only applies to programs that they ideologically disagree with like Medicare. Eric Cantor, the same man who claims that the government can't afford disaster relief, begged the Obama administration to pour millions of federal dollars into his district in order to create jobs. Hypocrisy, thy name is Eric Cantor.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 11:29 p.m.

If the point of the protest is to advocate tighter regulations on the financial industry and higher taxes for the &quot;1 percent,&quot; then there are more civil and productive ways to do that. Most of all, you need to actually have a point beside the ridiculous notion that without making any real effort to make something of yourselves that you are nonetheless entitiled to the subsidy by the more productive. This is hardly a 1% versus 99% argument; I've done time in the military, seen a lot of people die, gone on to a very competitive career where many didn't make it, lost half my income and retirement, and still make a good income by the standards of the day -- but I am not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. If you honestly think that people like myself -- who were screwed over by Wall Street more than anyone -- have any sympathy for a mob of undisciplined losers with their hands out, I believe that you are mistaken. A huge portion of my income already goes to taxes and I don't care much for that 47% that manages to through life paying no federal income tax at all. I respectfully suggest that all those &quot;Americans&quot; bent on complaining while not paying taxes go to Japan, pick up a shovel, and help real people with real problems and hardships dig out and rebuild after the perfect storm of disasters earlier this year. The Peace Corps is also accepting applications.

David Paris

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 2:22 p.m.

Spike, as you know, your comment &quot;...have any sympathy for a mob of undisciplined losers with their hands out,&quot; is completely erroneous, but to me, what is more amazing is that someone like yourself, who has been screwed by Wall Street, is still sympathetic to their cause! That sounds like Fox News Indoctrination to me. Believe it or not, you are still in the 99%, you are still on our side... you just don't know it yet (kind of like those NY cops).


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 11:15 a.m.

I was there, and for the record, while the protesters may be somewhat disorganized, they are certainly civil--they allowed Cantor to finish his speech before turning their backs to him. And I know for a fact that most of the protesters are active students, employees, or freelancers such as myself (I make $80/hour and pay my fair share of taxes). They don't have all the time in the world to plan perfectly orchestrated protests. Given Michigan's economy, I'm sure there are plenty of unemployed, too, but I've never seen any one of them with their hand out. More like a hand up to volunteer. And anyways, this isn't a pro-socialism movement, it's primarily a protest against kleptocracy and old fashioned corruption between the rich and the elected, evidence of which abounds. If you think the status quo in this country is functioning just fine then I don't know what to say to you. Put down the sports section. And, by the way, your 47% figure only works if you leave out Social Security, Medicare, state, property, and sales taxes. And most of these taxes I just listed are regressive, meaning the poor pay a higher proportion of their income to these taxes than the rich do.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:27 a.m.

You mean tax cuts and subsides that the rich get because they &quot;creat jobs&quot;? If you divided the Koch brothers wealth by the number of employees thay have they would be paying $330,000 per-employee.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:26 a.m.

Spike, we the 1% are getting so tired of your lay down and let us take all of your money sermon. We know that republicons have worked hard and have been very successful redistributing wealth to the top 1%. People who get their lightly taxed income by deciding where they can get the best return, rather than by creating something useful. Its time we all stood up for ourselves adn stopped swallowing the trickle down myth.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 12:28 a.m.

....A Martin A very well thought and incredibly well written piece of critical thinking on your part.... Keep up the good work.

Linda Peck

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 9:07 p.m.

It helps us to speak our minds about the greed at the top, but for the people who are convinced they deserve to be there, we are wasting our breath. They just don't get it.

David Paris

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 2 p.m.

Linda, you are right on, but wouldn't you say that comparing your remark regarding &quot;greed at the top&quot; to a coffee shop entrepreneur, would be akin to saying that Michael Vick was imprisoned for investing in puppies? There seems to be some kind of disconnect in this society, right now, a misunderstanding of what the real problems really are. We're not complaining about Capitalism, but about the egregious abuses of Capitalism &amp; Democracy that we have witnessed since the heyday of Eric Cantors grandmother.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 2:44 a.m.

Impersonators who vote for themselves immediately after they offer a post can only be described as shallow.... Perhaps that is what they call a Masters in Finance.....


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 2:23 a.m.

USRepublic, Sorry, got a masters in finance already. People don't invest out of some altruistic need to create jobs. They invest to create income for themselves. Period. Risk is part of any investment, in time, labor, or capital. Those in the 1% who get their income by finding the best place for their investment that suits their risk tolerance, also use a disproportionate amount or government resources to earn their income. They should pay a higher tax rate than someone who invests his labor. Keep your attack shtick to yourself.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 2:07 a.m.

Bull Moose wannabe... You need a new shtick........ Impersonating a Republican turned progressive doesn't serve you well when you don't understand the concept of risk in the allocation of capital. A simple finance class at WCC would serve you well. Investments are not guaranteed....and therefore deserve a stronger consideration when compared to living off of the ingenuity, sweat equity, and undetermined hardship of those that do take risks. Joseph Stalin has a nice pic on the web you can cut and paste.....


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:35 a.m.

USRepublic. If swallowing the propaganda from the richest 1% is &quot;getting it&quot;, then I hope for all of our sake that no one does. Living off the hard work of others? Is that some new Faux Noise attack strategy to shame the 99% into submission? I keep hearing it from republicons so it must be. I guess when you don't have an argument that makes rational sense, slander the opposition's character.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:31 a.m.

Heardoc do you think we are stupid? I know that Faux Noise does but we all should be wise to Rupert's self serving propaganda. It makes no difference whether money invested was taxed to begin with. The taxes are on the growth of that original capital. The growth part is taxed as capital gains at a much lower rate than working wages and I can't for the life of me understand how anyone can call that fair or beneficial.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 11:34 p.m.

That's right -- it always has been. You want change? March on Washington and demand it via legislative reform. If enough of you can come up with a coherent message and someone to put forth legislation that isn't just a selfish grab for cash, you just might get somewhere!


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 10:32 p.m.

You are misinformed. The rqtr of which you speak is on money that was taxed already. Money that you earn is put into a savings account. Been taxed already at the current income rate. Then you take your hard earned after tax money and risk this money in a business -- say a coffee shop. You hire some staff then you buy equipment then you advertise and then you hope someone shows up and bus your coffee. You pay business taxes, payroll tax city, property tax as well as paying for a business license and hiring a bookkeeper to keep records. And you come along and say that this poor guy (businessman) is not paying his fair share? What are you talking about? What planet did you drop off from?

Linda Peck

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 9:09 p.m.

I misspoke, I meant to say convinced they deserve to be taxed at their low current rate rather than &quot;to be there.&quot;


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 9:04 p.m.

You guys at just can't help yourselves can you? Even when you try to cover the Cantor speech you have to give even more attention to the protesters..even though you have already run two comprensive articles about a poorly planned and even more poorly executed protest. Pigs get fat.... Hogs get slaughtered...

David Paris

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 12:22 p.m.

@nyx- Thanks for providing that link! After listening, Mr Cantor sounds very nostalgic, as if he were still living in his grandmothers, and fathers America. He is clearly trying to appease the crowd as best he can, even if he has to use smoke &amp; mirrors to do it. His main point was the usual- if we all just work hard enough, we can do it, he doesn't seem to understand that 99% of us have our backs against the wall, while he has his HAND-OUT accepting bribes from the 1%ers. And, Thank you, to Aaron Wolf for his first-hand reporting for this article!


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 2:21 a.m. Highly analytic.....if not vacuous.... Well done!!!!


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:37 a.m.

One speaker and 70 protester do the math, if you can'tor.

Kara H

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 11:26 p.m.

USR--Here, let me google that for you... <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;eID=1146</a> Click on the &quot;Listen to the audio&quot; link at the bottom of the page. It's a pretty pokey server, but you can hear the preso.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 10:29 p.m.

A.....Wol.. Provide me the transcript and I'll make my own decisions as to the content and the merit of Cantor's speech. I don't need some lib offering me their &quot;insight&quot; as to what his speech was supposedly about. My comment was directed to the simple...and inarguable fact that AA.Com had two comprehensive articles about the unabashed endorsement and advertisement for the protest btw....leading up to this article....This article offered no parity as to how the event has been reported over the past couple of days. Don't let the facts get in the way of a good hypocritical rant however...that's why we love you never cease to amaze....... Get a job......and a life might come with it.

Aaron Wolf

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 10 p.m.

You're really correct. I wish they would have quoted the speech more and really described it further. That would have made it more clear how vapid and meaningless it was. I was there, and really, no Public Policy student learned anything from him. I've been to speeches of people I disagree with and still learned what their claims and perspectives are and sometimes been enlightened. Cantor offered no content at all to anyone, it was completely lacking substance. He could have said offensive or supportive or insightful or revealing or controversial or challenging or inspiring things... he said NOthing. In's defense, *maybe* they reported less on the speech because there was nothing to say...

John Q

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 8:54 p.m.

What's Eric Cantor doing to create &quot;opportunities for everyone to pursue their happiness&quot;? Can anyone name one thing that Eric Cantor's done towards that end?


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 5:16 a.m.

What about your current administration, I guess Obama has done so many, can you name any?


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 3:17 a.m.

Cutting and privatizing social security to accounts on wall street, cutting Medicaid, turning Medicare into a limited coupon/voucher system so that once its spent youre on your own, cutting food stamps, increasing defense budget, cutting education, cutting clean air and water budgets, etc. Just a few of Cantors plans with his fellow tea drinkers.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:41 a.m.

outdoor, did he support a balanced budget before President Obama took office? I think W and his republicon congress were responsible for taking this country from a budget surplus to a huge budget deficit. The majority of the budget swing came from W's tax handouts to the top 1%. To republicons, job creation is the cover word for cutting taxes for the rich. So when you say the house has 19 bills that the senate won't consider aimed at creating jobs, we know what you really mean. The trickle down ruse doesn't work anymore.

John Q

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 11:35 p.m.

The Ryan Plan? That has decades of deficits and debt to keep the tax cuts going to the wealthy? That's his &quot;opportunities for everyone&quot;?


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 10:55 p.m.

He supported a balanced budget, which will mean future generations will not be saddled with our debt. There are currently 19 bills passed by house that the senate will not consider aimed at creating jobs, including the FY 2012 budget. Where is the democratic budget for FY 2012? Let face it there is not one. Also where is the press coverage of those bills and lack of FY 2012 budget?

Kara H

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

If Eric Cantor wants to legislate based on anecdotes, he needs to stop telling stories about his grandmother's America. He needs to find more stories of average Joe Americans who've experienced &quot;equality of opportunity&quot; and achieved exceptional outcomes in the last decade. The American economy was booming in Gramma's day, over the last 30 years, the vast majority of US workers have, in fact, gotten poorer, when you factor in flat real wages and reduced benefits (pensions, medical insurance, etc). Combine that with record low savings levels, dramatically increasing health costs and continuing contractions in the job market and many many people are a personal downturn away from losing everything, no matter how &quot;responsibly&quot; they've conducted their lives up to that point. Despite what he seems to think the mantra of &quot;personal responsibility&quot; does not create either wealth or opportunity. It just keeps people compliant with the status quo.

David Paris

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 11:37 a.m.

You're absolutely right. We don't live in Eric Cantor's Grandmother's America, because the Reaganites &amp; Cantorites were paid handsomely to take it all away from us. 99% of us would love to live in our grandmothers economy, and that is exactly what we are trying to get back, thank you for reminding us, Mr Cantor!


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 5:37 a.m.

My hand is in the air. Stop moaning and get going your wasting time.

Kara H

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 11:08 p.m.

Cain's key success points weren't in the past decade. Good stuff is still happening, but the rags to riches success stories, or even just rags to good income, are the exception, not the norm currently. Eric's poor immigrant Gramma story isn't illustrative of common experience any longer and Eric shouldn't hold it up as a morality/business lesson for us all.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 10:52 p.m.

Yeah, maybe he should talk about Herman Cain, who went from poverty to Presidential Canidate.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 8:17 p.m.

There are a lot of missing rungs on his ladder and the first is above the reach of most of us. There is no equal opportunity when public schools are losing funds and scholarships and grants for university level learning are unavailable. Unfortunately, capitalism depends on exploitation of labor as well as resources.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 10:36 p.m.

every economy does that ----come on GEEZ!

Jake C

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 8:12 p.m.

"To me if [the protesters have] a problem you ought to go about trying to fix it in a constructive manner," he said. I'd like to know what exactly Mr. Cantor considers a &quot;constructive manner&quot;? Just going out and submitting your vote (which hopefully will be counted)? How about making some large cash campaign contributions to your favorite politician in exchange for a few favors? I'd say the Occupy protesters are doing a good job of making their voices heard all across the country, in response to the issues that affect them the most. I didn't see Mr. Cantor making statements like this when costume-wearing Conservatives were out in the streets protesting in 2009-2010 against vague concepts like &quot;No Big Government&quot; and &quot;Keep Government out of my Medicare&quot;! As a Liberal, I'll be happy to admit that the Tea Party protesters had plenty of valid complaints. Why are they so opposed to the Occupy protesters who share so many of their grievances? So it's okay for people to protest against &quot;Big Government&quot;, even though The People can just go out and vote public officials out of office, but it's not okay to protest the connection between &quot;Big Corporations&quot; giving millions of dollars to &quot;Big Government&quot; politicians who try their hardest to rig the system for their side, instead of just being honest and serving the public good?


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 8:21 p.m.

Public protest is one of those &quot;constructive manners&quot; allowed by the Constitution. The US supported the public protests and &quot;occupations&quot; of protestors in Egypt and other countries in the Middle East.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 8:08 p.m.

Interesting how the students didn't want Cantor to speak on the campus because of his beliefs and ideals. I thought a university was a place to learn things from all sides to allow each individual to make educated decisions, not one that learneded only one side. That tend to make the decision process skewed in one direction.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:17 a.m.

aaron: You said &quot;... I think the protest was of his getting a platform of special respect (and perhaps payment?). ..&quot; The article states that Cantor's appearance was part of a LECTURE SERIES by the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy. Was Cantor given anymore respect than previous speakers in the LECTURE SERIES? If so, how he was given more respect? Please give examples. &quot;...perhaps payments..&quot; No more or less than any other speaker, if at all. What were the others paid? If you cannot answer the above questions then your sophmoric observations don't have much credibility.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 10:38 p.m.

This type of conduct is common on liberal campuses. Aaron you are just parsing here.......


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 9:12 p.m.

Students opposed Cantor's right wing defense of wealth and privilege and the platform that UM provided with prompt alacrity, complete with an introduction by Coleman. My, the furniture got moved quickly for this one.

Aaron Wolf

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 8:17 p.m.

I think the protest was of his getting a platform of special respect (and perhaps payment?). They weren't objecting to his perspective being presented.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 8:02 p.m.

That's awesome.

Michigan Man

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 7:58 p.m.

Was not at the speech so I cannot benefit from direct observation. Sounds, however, like Cantor was polished, poised, respectful of the audience and communicated in an adult like manner. I trust the fine citizens of Ann Arbor and the University community were reciprocal in their manners? Shouting down an invited guest is generally not a good indicator of civility, wisdom and good behavior.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 9:21 p.m.

Is anyone surprised that Cantor has nothing of substance to say? Have we ever heard any substance in his speeches? Cantor is working his party's agenda to make Obama a one term president without any concern for what it does to the middle class. He is not there to be concerned for the middle class.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 8:41 p.m.

Tell that to the teapartiers/GOBPers at the Healthcare forums and townhall meatings!

Aaron Wolf

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 8:16 p.m.

I was there. He was indeed adult-mannered, respectful in style. The protestors did not &quot;shout him down&quot; though, their was just a few irregular shouts, and they mostly stood in silent protest, clapping at time in response to questions and such. Their manner was not as respectful as his though, but it would also qualify as &quot;adult.&quot; Unfortunately, Cantor didn't say anything of substance in his speech. There was no content to really even agree or disagree with, it was entirely meaningless platitudes and vague anecdotes without a single reference to specific policy or policy process.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 7:49 p.m.

How many civilizations and governments have failed because they would not recognize the ire of their own people?


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:34 a.m.

All that didn't


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 7:46 p.m.

Minds are like Parachutes, they only work when they are open? (No Open Minds in AA) I am sorry to say that the writer of this article has a bias against Mr. Cantor and the Republicans. When you read the article, a lot more space is giving to the protesters and opposition of Mr. Cantor. For a University town, diversity of thought seems to be lacking!


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 12:50 p.m.

Excellent comment, xmo. I agree with you. It also seems to be the track record with

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 3:36 a.m.

I count 14 lines out of roughly 56 lines (trying to account for half lines) as focused about the protesters. The rest of the story is about Cantor. I guess 14 is a lot more than 42 in an Alice-Through-The-Looking-Glass sort of way. Otherwise known as teapartyland. Good Night and Good Luck

Aaron Wolf

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 8:13 p.m.

Fact is, sorry to say, that there was very little substance on either side. Of course, the protestors didn't have the opportunity to carefully articulate their concerns. Cantor had the opportunity but didn't use it. He didn't talk about specific policies or issues or anything you would expect that Policy students would be curious about. He only stated simple anecdotes and it was basically a vapid campaign speech. If he had answered the questions or discussed any specific policy or perspective, then there would have been some ideas to be open or closed to.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 7:43 p.m.

But Cantor does belive in redistribute the wealth from the bottom to the top. That is why income for the top 1% have gone up 300% over the last 15 years while the bottom 50% has pretty much stayed the same. Yes the richest 5% pay 60% of the taxes but they also have over 90% of the wealth. And if you use the Cain's model and everyone pays the same income taxes the top 5% will pay less and the bottom 50% will pay more. It is a lot harder for someone that tries to make ends meet that only makes 25,000 a year and has to now pay 3,000 in taxes than someone who makes 250,000 and now has to pay 30,000 less.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 11:37 a.m., in combination with any further reporting or analysis of Cantor's speech, and anything on &quot;income inequality&quot; in general: why not use a little local flavor of a A2/UM connection? The CBO report cites that Sheldon Danziger, (Guggenhiem fellowship '08), H.J. Meyer Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, was a consultant to the CBO report. He has authored: &quot;America Unequal - how income transfers effect work, savings, and income&quot; and &quot;The Historical Record-trends in family income, inequality, and poverty&quot;. You might ask him if he attended the speech and what he thought about it. While you got him, you might also ask about the CBO report as in why it was asked for, and why only 1979-2007 was examined etc.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 2:58 a.m.

Ray, you have ONE study by the CBO written at the request of Sen. Baccus (D) that shows growth for all income strata from 1979-2007. All grew, with the one percent, admitted, the most. Anybody know whether this happened before 1979? Don't know. If it did, why? I just find it ironic that when it peaked under Clinton at 200%, I don't remember the noise encountered now that it is at 275%. Maybe everybody was preoccupied with Monica's dress or something.


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:47 a.m.

Arborcomment, How can it matter which president the first big spike came under? The indisputable fact is that the top 1% have gotten far wealthier while the rest of us have seen our wages stagnate and oor benefits cut. The rate of people living below the poverty wage in this country has also reached record levels. That is a true redistribution wealth from the middle class and poor to the wealthiest. Clandestine class warfare has been waged by the richest 1% for decades. Its about time the opposing side woke up!


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:39 a.m.

Try 27, and funny - I don't see the outcry about the first big spike - oh wait, that was under Clinton...


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 1:23 a.m.

So I had to go back 20 years so sue me.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 10:07 p.m.

Like a fish story where the fish keeps getting bigger. Please use the correct figures from the CBO report:<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 7:41 p.m.

When can we seee a transcript of Rep Cantor's speech so we can judge for ourselves the meaning of his speech?

Kara H

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 11:25 p.m.

Here, let me google that for you... <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;eID=1146</a> Click on the &quot;Listen to the audio&quot; link at the bottom of the page. It's a pretty pokey server, but you can hear the preso.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 10:09 p.m.

AA will never do that -- then you might get the truth.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 7:44 p.m.

on his website

David Briegel

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 7:30 p.m.

The main reason Ronnie Reagan got into politics was because &quot;his class of people paid too high a tax rate&quot;. Ronnie achieved his goal. In keeping with the finest TeaPublicon traditions Mr Cantor is perpetuating the same policies that have resulted in a vast re-distribution of wealth. And despite all evidence to the contrary he perpetuates the myth and the lie of &quot;trickle down&quot;. He represents the govt that has been rented in opposition to &quot;we the people&quot;. The message he delivers is &quot;let 'em eat cake&quot;! The new American Oligarchs! Eric Cantor is the opposite of a respected voice!


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 12:25 a.m.

Briegs..... A very well thought out and wonderful piece of critical thinking.... LOL


Tue, Nov 1, 2011 : 12:19 a.m.

When Reagan took office, interest rates were around 18% and unemployment was in double digits. What followed was 20 years of consistent growth across all economic strata. Did the rich get richer? Yes. Did the poor get poorer? No. The CBO report shows it: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Kara H

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 11:01 p.m.

Watch the vid. I'm not misquoting, it's RR talking. Though yes, obviously, there's a larger context. It IS pretty funny though.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 10:08 p.m.

You are very misinformed -- funny as all get out -- but very misinformed. Live how all the lefties like to quote the greatest president in US history 9R Reagan). Not so much on quoting Carter, Johnson, Kennedy (really quite conservative). Just a comical relief you are.

Kara H

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 8:47 p.m.

I don't know Dave, he may have been more progressive than all that. Here's a vid of excerpts of Obama and Reagan speeches calling for an end to tax loopholes for the rich, that in Reagan's words &quot;allow the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share.&quot; When Reagan asked the crowd whether millionaires should be paying more or less in taxes than a bus driver, the crowd yells "More!" Maybe we shouldn't be calling that the &quot;Buffet rule&quot; but the &quot;Reagan rule&quot; instead. Just sayin'... <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;v=cgbJ-Fs1ikA</a>


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 8:11 p.m.

outdoor, If my income were in the millions, yes.


Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 7:45 p.m.

One of the funniest RR stories was about his working and the tax rate. The top rate was 90%. According to the story he told, hollywood actors would work until they hit the 90% rate then take the rest of the year off. My question to all of you is would you work for 10% of your wage?