Today the President will hold a news conference at the White House and the debt limit negotiations will be a central topic. President Obama has consistently hailed the December tax deal to preserve the current tax rates. Why then is the White House seeking to undo the benefits of that deal as part of deal to increase America’s debt limit? In fact, just yesterday, President Obama was in Iowa to campai – speak about manufacturing, yet behind closed doors the White House is trying to impose a $70 billion tax hike that the National Association of Manufacturers says “would threaten capital investment and job creation.” The President talks about middle class job creation, yet his NLRB is actively preventing Boeing from creating thousands of middle class jobs.
We have a President who likes talking the talk, but doesn’t like walking the walk. Case in point: In February 2009, President Obama pledged to a joint session of Congress that he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term in office. Now, as Republicans force the President kicking and screaming into negotiations to cut spending, the White House still is trying to raise taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars on individuals, employers and job creators. That is the exact wrong prescription for our economy, and the House will not support it.
Mr. President, it’s time that you walk the walk and start living up to your pledges.
Today In History: In 1995, the American space shuttle Atlantis docks with the Russian space station Mir to form the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit the Earth. This historic moment of cooperation between former rival space programs was also the 100th human space mission in American history.
Birthdays: Rep. Virginia Foxx, Gary Busey, Richard Lewis, Dan Dierdorf and Theo Fleury
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ...
State Of Play: Democrats Look To Reverse Tax Deal, Insist On Raising Taxes
Leader Cantor: A “Framework” Of Over $2 Trillion In Spending Cuts Was Identified Until Democrats Insisted On Raising Taxes. Cantor offers a startling account of what took place before he walked away from the talks. In Cantor’s telling, the White House and Democratic negotiators agreed on a “framework” of $2 trillion to $2.4 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years. “This is a mix of non-health-care mandatory, health-care mandatory, as well as discretionary savings, there’s a piece of interest savings as well,” Cantor told me. Democrats familiar with the talks vociferously dispute this number, though not on the record. They say, at most, negotiators have agreed to $1.5 trillion to $1.6 trillion in cuts—provided Republicans accept at least $400 billion in tax increases. Cantor calls that “spin,” arguing his numbers are the real range. “That is the essence of what I know came out of those talks,” Cantor said. “Whoever wants to spin otherwise, can do so. There is certainly some refinement on all of these numbers that still needs to take place, but the outline and the framework is there.” National Journal
- Cantor: Taxes Are Not The Answer, Cannot Pass The House. “Any new tax to businesses that creates any new cost is not what we need right now nor are there the votes in the House to support that right now, ” said Cantor. National Journal
President Obama, Democrats Attempt To Renege On Tax Deal – Look To Raise Taxes, Eliminate Itemized Deductions. The White House wants Republicans to agree to tax increases that no one wants to call tax increases, and for an insight into this political method let's focus on one proposal in particular—the phase-out of itemized deductions for upper-income taxpayers. ... The idea is that once taxpayers earn a certain amount of money (say, $200,000), they would begin to lose the value of the various deductions they're entitled to under the law. ... Only six months ago, President Obama endorsed the extension of the Bush rates (and the end of the phase-outs) for two more years, but now his negotiators want to renege on that deal. They want to reintroduce the phase-outs as part of a debt-ceiling deal ... The phase-out gambit is an attempt to shoe-horn more progressivity into the tax code without admitting it, and to do so in such a way that only tax experts will know what's going on. The Wall Street Journal
The Obama Economy: President Obama’s Economic Policies Continue To Stifle Growth
The Administration’s Proposed Tax Hike Would Devastate Small Business. Don Van Houweling, president of Van Wall Equipment, the state’s largest John Deere dealer, said LIFO is a fair and proper way for businesses to value their inventory. His operation would have to pay an estimated $125,000 increase in taxes if the proposal took effect, he said. “By going after big oil, they are devastating small business in the process,” he said. The Des Moines Register
The Regulatory Burden Imposed By President Obama’s Policies Is Crushing Small Businesses. This enormous onslaught of new regulations could well cost hundreds of billions of dollars, hamper our recovery, undermine our competitiveness and cost jobs. The regulations are being promulgated under the same system that generated the ones the administration found necessary to review. The "look back" plans do not appear to fix this problem. ... if we don't take the necessary steps now, our competitiveness and the success of America's small businesses - the job engines of our economy - are at risk. Businesses with fewer than 20 employees incur regulatory costs 42 percent higher than companies with up to 500 employees. The average regulatory cost for each employee of a small business exceeds $10,000 per year. The Small Business Administration priced the total cost of federal regulation compliance at $1.75 trillion in 2008 - amounting to $15,000 for each U.S. household. The Washington Times
- Look Ahead: Instead Of Offering Pro-Growth Solutions, President Obama Plans To Continue To Push and Defend His Job-Destroying Economic Policies. If he wants to be one of the few presidents to win reelection in a stagnant economy, he’ll have to devote less time to defending past policies, like the auto bailout, and more to offering specific solutions to help people get back to work. ... But there are few signs that the president’s economic messaging has changed. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently said Democrats own the economy, but they don’t seem to be adapting their message to the bad economy likely to face them... National Journal
ObamaCare Update: The Obama Administration Nixes Plan To Spy On Doctors
Administration Axes “Secret Shopper” Plan. Obama administration will not move forward on a controversial proposal to have “secret shoppers” pose as patients to investigate how difficult it is for Americans to obtain primary care. “On April 28th, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services submitted a notice to the Federal Register regarding a proposed study that would examine access to primary care,” an HHS spokesman said in a statement. “After reviewing feedback received during the public comment period, we have determined that now is not the time to move forward with this research project. Instead, we will pursue other initiatives that build on our efforts to increase access to health care providers nationwide.” Politico
Dem Divide: Infighting Heats Up Between Senate Dems and The White House
Rifts Open Between Senate Dems and White House Over Debt Limit. Senate Democrats are accusing President Obama of failing to use his bully pulpit effectively in the debt-ceiling fight. ... While Democratic lawmakers share some of the blame, they say Obama has not used his media power aggressively enough to educate voters about the complex issue ... “I think he’s done an OK job but it’s a struggle because it’s complicated,” said Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), a member of the Budget Committee. “He should use the bully pulpit every single day. He could do more.”... One senior Democratic senator called the White House leadership on framing the debt-ceiling debate “feckless” and said he couldn’t understand why Obama hasn’t been more outspoken in calling for action. The Hill
- Senate Leadership Divide: Reid, Durbin, Schumer Rivalry Heats Up As Senate Dems Tread Water, Fail To Act. The top two Senate Democratic leaders have split on a series of high-profile fights in Congress, a sign of the lingering divide within their party as they struggle to project a coherent voice on issues ranging from national security to the budget. ... The gulf between the No. 1 and No. 2 leaders on key issues points to the larger problem facing Senate Democrats this year: There is little desire to hold a firm party line, leaving politically vulnerable Democrats to decide for themselves how to vote on any number of issues. ... In this Congress, Durbin’s rival in leadership, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), has raised his already high profile by taking the reins of the political messaging for Senate Democrats ... Politico
Off The Beaten Path
Rumor Mill: Did Seal Team 6 Have Night Vision Contact Lenses? - Gizmodo
Rumor Mill: John Lennon ... A Closet Republican? – Contact Music