Do we all know that? Is he talking about restoring a bubble? Was it wise to base our economy on home building? Shouldn`t we have been diversifying, creating green industries?

Whether or not the Republicans, after the first one hundred days of the Obama administration, deserve to be called the party of no, the label Democrats are pinning on them, the more serious issue, suggested by Cantor`s remark, is whether the Republicans have any ideas other than holding office and lining their buddies` pockets.

Cantor`s remark shows an intellectual bankruptcy, to my mind, that rivals all the business bankruptcies put together.

America has always thrived on ideas. Consider the iPhone, the laptop, mass production, and all the other ingenious ways we have made jobs. In this light, is building homes and pumping up home prices the only thing the Republicans can think of to rebuild our economic muscle? What about medical and environmental advances? Can`t they create jobs?

Is Cantor`s even an idea? Is restoring an unsustainable bubble the only thing the GOP brings to the table? What about new kinds of jobs, new industries? The housing boom resulted in building too many homes in places where they shouldn`t have been built. It was a boon to predatory lenders and builders, but look at its wreckage. Does the congressman want to make a Frankenstein`s monster out of this wreckage?

What about the one in nine American homes that is now empty? Who is going to occupy those homes, pay higher prices for them and keep on paying for them without new jobs and new industries?

And was it wise in the first place to overbuild? Was it wise to build in fragile ecologies, to expand the suburbs relentlessly into exurbs, and thereby perpetuate a fuel-drunk culture? Was it wise to wreck Main Street in behalf of mega malls? The housing bubble, after all, depended on the Arabs for oil and China for money. How smart was that? Is that what the congressman is nostalgic for?

It`s easy and ugly to play the passive-aggressive, saying no, maybe, possibly, yet coming up with no ideas, taking no risks, and trying to pin everything that goes wrong on someone else. This is the behavior of adolescents getting even with parents. It doesn`t befit the loyal opposition.