By Beth Fisher

ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – A “Funeral for the Middle Class” protest was held in Ann Arbor Monday prior to a speech by U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at the University of Michigan.

About 85 protesters held mock tombstones that said “R.I.P Middle Class,” and “Rest In Peace 99 Percent.”

cantor eric103111 U.S. House Majority Leader Speaks In Ann Arbor Amid Protest
Eric Canton (WWJ Photo/Beth Fisher)

Douglas Kelly was among them.

“I think the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives is being outrageously devoted to the interests of the top one percent in this country,” Kelly told WWJ’s Beth Fisher.

Others at the rally said Cantor’s votes have not helped them.

“He’s leading the effort to prevent any economy recovery … by not passing the President’s jobs plan,” said one man.

In his speech Monday afternoon, the Republican Cantor said President Obama’s “all or nothing” approach doesn’t cut it, and some even in the Democrat party don’t support it in total.

Cantor said that our nation faces some major challenges with debt and unemployment and they need to cut spending in Washington.

“The deficit crisis is caused by annual deficits we’re racking up at the federal government that exceed a trillion dollars annual. We cannot continue to sustain that kind of spending,”Cantor said.

Cantor took questions, including one about past debt from Republican administrations.

“The incurance of debt over the last three years far exceeds that which was incured over the periods you mentioned,” Cantor said. “But let’s not go about blaming, because there’s enough blame to go around on all sides,” to some yelling from the audience.

Cantor was inteurpted a few times by a small group of people who stood with their backs to him. Some of their shirts read “Tax the Rich.”

Cantor said fiscal prudence is needed in order to grow the economy. He said legislators need to find middle ground.


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