Nearly three years into the Obama presidency, 9.1 percent of the workforce remains unemployed and our national debt exceeds $14.3 trillion. A new poll shows that nearly 60% of Americans do not feel the economy has begun to recover, and nearly half of Americans disapprove of the way that President Obama has handled the economy. President Obama and Democrats in Washington have led our country down the wrong path, and they own the failed results of their economic policies.
What the private sector needs is an injection of confidence, certainty, and stability. House Republicans have proposed a robust plan to boost private sector growth and create jobs. In contrast, Democrats – whose policies have created unprecedented levels of debt and unemployment – continue to remain silent on the most pressing issues facing families, small businesses, and our country.
Today In History: In 1976, New York Magazine published the article “The Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night” the story that gave rise to the movie Saturday Night Fever
Birthdays: Rep. Mike Pence, Mick Foley, Michael Cera, Anna Kournikova, A.I., Prince, Tom Jones, Dean Martin, Thurman Munson, Terry O'Reilly, Dave Navarro, and Bill Hader
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ...
State Of Play: Spending Cuts Must Be Equal, If Not Greater, To The Amount The Debt Ceiling Is Raised
Leader Cantor “Cautiously Optimistic” That Common Ground Can Be Found With The Administration On Cutting Spending. In an email Monday to House Republicans, Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he is “cautiously optimistic” that ongoing talks with the White House will meet the standard set by Speaker John Boehner that “any increase in the debt limit ought to be accompanied by at least a commensurate reduction in the deficit.” “I am cautiously optimistic we can find sufficient common ground with the Administration to enact spending cuts that meet the goal outlined by the Speaker,” the Virginia Republican wrote his colleagues, now home for a weeklong recess. Politico
Deficit Reduction Comes From Enacting Real Spending Cuts, Not “Triggered” Tax Hikes. The House’s overwhelming rejection of a clean debt-limit increase means that the two parties must now find major spending cuts. House Republicans say that they will not support a debt increase unless the Democrats agree to equal-sized spending cuts. ... There are only two types of cuts that are “real”: legislated reductions in entitlements and complete terminations of discretionary programs. Once enacted, those types of cuts have the best chance of shrinking the government permanently. ... Rather than such real cuts, President Obama has proposed phony cuts, such as a “debt fail-safe trigger,” which is just a promise that future Congresses will find savings. Indeed, because Obama’s trigger is slanted toward tax hikes, it could embolden liberals to spend even more in the near term in the hope of triggering large revenue increases later on. National Review Online
Economy Outlook: President Obama’s Economic Policies Have Failed To Create An Environment Conducive To Growth
Nearly 60% Of Americans Believe The Economy Has Not Started To Recover. By 2 to 1, Americans say the country is pretty seriously on the wrong track, and nine in 10 continue to rate the economy in negative terms. Nearly six in 10 say the economy has not started to recover, regardless of what official statistics may say, and most of those who say it has improved rate the recovery as weak. ... Overall, about six in 10 of those surveyed give Obama negative marks on the economy and the deficit. Significantly, nearly half strongly disapprove of his performance in these two crucial areas. Nearly two-thirds of political independents disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy, including — for the first time — a slim majority who do so strongly. The Washington Post
- Leader Cantor: President Obama Has Failed To Deliver On The Economy. Uncertainty over the economy, much of it political, is leading businesses to hold back on hiring and investments in their companies despite increased profits. ... for a variety of reasons — healthcare costs, the regulatory environment, the economic unrest in Greece and, perhaps most importantly, the negotiations in Washington over raising the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling — large businesses appear unwilling to substantially expand their job force. ... “The American people are witnessing a president who may make good speeches, but doesn’t deliver, and right now the issue is jobs and the economy and from every small-business person that I speak to, they’re complaining about Washington standing in the way,” Cantor said. The Hill
Americans Prefer The GOP’s Pro-Growth Approach To The Economy. In another indicator of rapidly shifting views on economic issues, 45 percent trust congressional Republicans over the president when it comes to dealing with the economy, an 11-point improvement for the GOP since March. Still, nearly as many, 42 percent, side with Obama on this issue. The Washington Post
- Day 769 – Senate Dems Start To Turn On Reid: A Growing Number Of Senate Dems Say They Must Pass A Budget. A growing number of Senate Democrats are anxious about the lack of a Democratic budget and the unusually slow legislative agenda, creating another headache for Majority Leader Harry Reid as he tries to protect his majority ahead of a daunting election year. “On the budget front, I’m not a happy camper around here,” California Sen. Dianne Feinstein told POLITICO. “I think we need to have a budget that we stand by.” “In the states, you can’t do this in the states — you’ve got to move,” said West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a former governor up for reelection next year. “We’re hoping we will.” Not having a budget, Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor said, “makes it harder to do things that we just need to do — there are people talking about an education bill, a highway bill — a lot of other things you just don’t know how much you have to spend.” Politico
Dodd-Frank Fallout: Uncertainty Is On The Rise Due To Delays In Defining Dodd-Frank
A New Wave Of Uncertainty Hits American Businesses As Implementation Of Dodd-Frank Approaches. Banks, investors and companies are scrambling to cope with uncertainty caused by regulators' delays in fleshing out the Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law ... More than 100 new derivatives requirements in the law take effect on July 16, even though regulators have yet to issue final rules in the affected areas. The holdup raises concerns that a large swath of the financial system might be thrown into legal gray areas. ... The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission were supposed to finish rules creating a new regulatory framework for trading and clearing derivatives by July 21, the anniversary of when the law's signing. The vast majority of the rules won't be complete by then. The law dictates that a host of provisions related to the rules go into effect 360 days after the law's passage, which is July 16. ... "Despite whether the regulators act, these contracts won't be protected from the trial bar. This could prove hugely disruptive to businesses," said Rep. Frank Lucas (R., Okla.), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. The Wall Street Journal
The Road Ahead: Medicare Adds $2 Trillion In Unfunded Liabilities In 2010, So Where Is The Democrats’ Plan To Reform Medicare and Prevent It From Going Bankrupt?
The Need For Reform: Unfunded Liabilities Total Nearly $62 Trillion, Medicare Added Nearly $2 Trillion Last Year Alone. The federal government's financial condition deteriorated rapidly last year, far beyond the $1.5 trillion in new debt taken on to finance the budget deficit, a USA TODAY analysis shows. The government added $5.3 trillion in new financial obligations in 2010, largely for retirement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. That brings to a record $61.6 trillion the total of financial promises not paid for. This gap between spending commitments and revenue last year equals more than one-third of the nation's gross domestic product. Medicare alone took on $1.8 trillion in new liabilities, more than the record deficit prompting heated debate between Congress and the White House over lifting the debt ceiling. ... "The (federal) debt only tells us what the government owes to the public. It doesn't take into account what's owed to seniors, veterans and retired employees," says accountant Sheila Weinberg, founder of the Institute for Truth in Accounting, a Chicago-based group that advocates better financial reporting. "Without accurate accounting, we can't make good decisions." USA Today
- The Reality Of Medicare: The System Is Completely Unaffordable and Is Careening Towards Bankruptcy. The average 56-year-old couple pays about $140,000 into the Medicare system over a lifetime and receives about $430,000 in benefits back. The program is also completely unaffordable. Medicare has unfinanced liabilities of more than $30 trillion. The Medicare trustees say the program is about a decade from insolvency. Some Democrats simply want to do nothing as Medicare careens toward bankruptcy. The New York Times
ObamaCare Update: At Least 30% Of Employers Will Stop Offering Health Coverage Because Of ObamaCare
Report: 30% Of Private Sector Employers Say They Will Drop Health Coverage, Citing ObamaCare As The Reason. Once provisions of the Affordable Care Act start to kick in during 2014, at least three of every 10 employers will probably stop offering health coverage, a survey released Monday shows. While only 7% of employees will be forced to switch to subsidized-exchange programs, at least 30% of companies say they will “definitely or probably” stop offering employer-sponsored coverage, according to the study published in McKinsey Quarterly. The survey of 1,300 employers says those who are keenly aware of the health-reform measure probably are more likely to consider an alternative to employer-sponsored plans, with 50% to 60% in this group expected to make a change. It also found that for some, it makes more sense to switch. MarketWatch
Off The Beaten Path
ICYMI – This Year’s New Batch Of Ice Cream Sandwiches – New York Magazine
Bling Deflects Bullet, Saves Store Owner & Wife – The Atlanta Journal Constitution