(CNSNews.com) – House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told a packed auditorium on Friday that government jobs overshadow the private sector and that to grow the economy the private sector must be allowed to flourish.
Cantor made his comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.
“It’s about jobs, stupid!” said Cantor in his opening remarks. “According to the Department of Labor, today there are over 4 million more Americans working for government than are working in the goods-producing segment of our economy. And these government jobs, they're pretty good jobs.”
Cantor also said, “There are now more union members who work for government than work in the private sector. And they've negotiated some pretty darn good deals for themselves too. Did you know that the average salary in the Department of Education is now over $100,000 a year? Average.”
Cantor said that the key to preserving freedom is in allowing private sector jobs to grow.
“To preserve freedom, we need more individuals who are worried about how high their taxes are and less worried about how rich their government benefits are,” he said.
Growing the economy means balancing the budget, said Cantor, and balancing the budget means decreasing taxes and regulations.
“A smaller Washington will result in a bigger America,” he said. “More jobs and more opportunity for all, for everyone, for ourselves and our children. I look forward to joining alongside you in this fight to reclaim the America that we know.”
Cantor noted that not one Republican voted for the Democrats’ $787 billion economic stimulus bill last year and added that government cannot spend its way out of a recession, any more than an individual can spend his way out of credit card debt.
“Let's face it,” said Cantor, “there is no such thing as a free lunch. Every dollar spent must come out of the private sector,” meaning every tax dollar collected and spent by government is one less dollar spent by individuals in the private sector.
Cantor also said that the Republican Party needed to regain the trust of the American people.
“The people need to see our commitment to enact a reform agenda,” he said. “You know, Thomas Jefferson once advised that in matters of style, swim with the tide. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.”
CPAC is hosted annually by the American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) and is co-sponsored by more than 90 other conservative organizations. The CPAC is headquartered at the ACUF and it is the Foundation’s largest annual conference. Last year, CPAC’s attendance was 8,500. Organizers estimate up to 12,000 people will attend this year’s conference, which ends on Saturday, Feb. 20.