LARRY KUDLOW, host: Now we welcome back to THE KUDLOW REPORT an old friend, Majority Leader Eric Cantor from Virginia. Thank you, Mr. Cantor, we appreciate it.
Let me just begin with this. I want to talk growth with you because you’re one of the most prominent growth people in the entire Congress. First, I’m not hearing the 4 percent growth yet in this convention that Mitt Romney laid out. I’m not hearing the 12 million jobs that he laid out. And I don’t see how the GOP can win this election until it persuades people they have a solution.
Representative ERIC CANTOR: I think you’re going to start to hear that tonight. Paul Ryan, my good friend from the House, is going to be laying out his vision, introducing himself to America and you know, as I do, that Paul has been working long and hard on a growth plan for this economy. Mitt Romney will officially accept his nomination tomorrow night. And you’re right, Mitt Romney consistently throughout this campaign has been the one individual with the pro-growth economic policy.
KUDLOW: Yeah, you’ve got to get it out. Politics without repetition, am I wrong about that?
Rep. CANTOR: You’re right.
KUDLOW: The public–I mean, a lot of people will see Governor Romney for the first time, maybe addressing 40, 50 million people. Certainly Paul Ryan they’re going to see for the first time. I want to hear the 20 percent tax cut. Twenty percent marginal tax rate across the board. I’m not hearing it yet in this convention. Where is it?
Rep. CANTOR: I think you’re going to hear that again. You’re going to hear it beginning tonight, tomorrow night, because you’re right, this election is about people looking to see who’s going to provide them with more optimism and growth in this economy so folks can get back to work and we see investment go to town and grow this economy.
KUDLOW: I’m not hearing that 25 percent corporate tax rate down from 35 percent, which some economists think is the most powerful stimulus of all. Now you’ve had a lot of business tax cuts, to your great credit, but Mitt has this 25 percent tax rate. I want to hear about it. You’ve got all these small businesses, big business, I want to hear about it.
Rep. CANTOR: You know, Larry, that’s the interesting thing because you know how the other side, Barack Obama, you know, he’s always talking about how we’re not good for the economy or somehow our solutions don’t fit with his vision. The bottom line is too many people are disappointed right now at the anemic economy.
KUDLOW: Yeah, it’s 1.7 percent GDP today. That’s how bad this is.
Rep. CANTOR: And this is what the convention’s about. This is what our party’s about. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are about it saying hey, we cannot accept that as the new norm. We have got to reclaim the mantle of growth. America has to continue to lead the world and we’ve got a prescription to do it. And I think you’re going to hear that tonight and tomorrow night.
KUDLOW: I want to hear it. I like the idea of getting spending down as a share of GDP from 25 percent to 20 percent. That is, in effect, a tax cut. All right. Stop robbing the private sector of all those resources. Milton Friedman used to always say spending is the real tax. But I’m not hearing it. Again, I don’t–25 percent to 20 percent is vital. Let’s hear it.
Rep. CANTOR: Absolutely. And as you correctly point out, the 20 percent revenues of the percentage of GDP is what has been the secret to the success. Anywhere from 18 to 19 percent.
Rep. CANTOR: And there have only been three years in which we’ve exceeded 20 percent, those–two of which were during World War II, one of which was the year 2000, at the time in which Bush was elected and we put into the statute–began to put in the rate cut.
KUDLOW: I’m going to walk over to your Virginia delegation.
REP. CANTOR: And you’re right, it’s about–it’s about basically making sure that Washington set priorities and not keep taking other people’s money determining priorities for them. Rather let them do their bidding and invest their money so we can see this economy grow.
KUDLOW: All right. One other thing I need to know about. This is bugging Wall Street, it’s bugging businesses, the fiscal cliff, especially a potential massive tax hike. Massive. The Congressional Budget Office says there’s a recession out there in the first half of 2013. Eric Cantor, this country cannot take another recession after what we’ve been through with the bad recession, the anemic recovery. What is going to happen? What is your forecast of dealing with the fiscal cliff? Are we going to have to wait for Russian roulette after the election?
Rep. CANTOR: No. But Larry, this does all underscore the import of this election. These are the stakes. Do we want an America where individuals, small business owners, working families can dream the big dreams and go about making themselves earning success? Or do we want a government that’s going to go and suck more out of the private sector and have Washington determine the allocation of capital?
KUDLOW: Can we stop the $450 billion tax hikes, with higher marginal tax rates, on investors, you know, this, small business owners, plus Obamacare’s got another 4 percent on successful business owners. Can you stop that?
Rep. CANTOR: Larry, if we want to grow America again, we’ve got to elect Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Period, the end.
KUDLOW: That’s the–that’s the bottom line.
Rep. CANTOR: That is the bottom line. And yes, we can avoid the fiscal cliff. Yes, we can put things in motion to grow this economy, to cut spending, make sure taxes don’t go up on anybody, reduce those corporate rates and marginal rates. We can do all of this, but we’ve got to make sure that Republicans win this time and that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are put into position, along with us in Congress, to effect these changes.
KUDLOW: All right. Majority Leader Eric Cantor, thank you ever so much. As always, thank you for coming back on THE KUDLOW REPORT.
Rep. CANTOR: Always a pleasure.