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Biden and Cantor: Sharply different views on the US economy

Democratic Vice President Joe Biden and Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor used separate Memorial weekend radio messages to offer sharply differing views of the US economy and the best course for economic policy.

By Dave Cookstaff writer / May 28, 2011

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Vice President Joe Biden at a May 5th meeting of congressional Republicans and Democrats trying to strike a deal on deficit reduction. In radio addresses Saturday, Biden and Cantor gave very different views of the US economy.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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Democratic Vice President Joe Biden and Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor used separate Memorial Day weekend radio talks to offer sharply differing views of the US economy and economic policy.

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The economy continues to be a central concern for voters at a time when the national unemployment rate is 9 percent. Earlier this month, the Gallup Organization reported that three in four Americans cite some type of economic issue as the "most important problem" facing the country. That is the highest level of mentions of the economy in two years, Gallup says.

Filling in for President Obama who is traveling in Europe, Vice President Biden’s radio address highlighted the auto industry’s resurgence and credited the administration’s bailout plan for the positive result.

“We faced an auto industry on the brink of extinction,” Biden said. “Because of what we did, the auto industry is rising again. Manufacturing is coming back. And our economy is recovering and gaining traction.”

Last week, Chrysler announced it was repaying $5.9 billion in US loans and $1.7 billion in loans from the governments of Canada and Ontario. General Motors said it would run three shifts at its Detroit Hamtramck plant for the first time in its 26-year history.

Cantor offers a very different view

Majority Leader Cantor's radio message offered a very different view of the state of the economy and of the Obama administration policy.

“Democrat-controlled Washington enacted the nearly trillion dollar stimulus program which drove up our debt and failed to get people back to work," he said. As for current conditions, Cantor said, “Now, as the summer of 2011 approaches, far too many of our family members, neighbors, and friends are still out of work.”

Republicans in the House last week unveiled “A Plan for America’s Job Creators.” Key elements include cutting the maximum tax rate to 25 percent for businesses and individuals, spurring domestic energy production, and passing pending trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea, and Panama.

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