The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

Yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke confirmed what the most recent jobless numbers told us by saying that our economy is growing slowly and faces “additional headwinds” that will make recovery difficult. With unemployment at 9.1% and millions of people out of work, President Obama's backward economic policies continue to hamper growth and make it harder for small businesses to grow and create jobs. Democrats’ failed economic policies have led to high unemployment, uncertainty across all sectors of the economy, a severely deflated housing market, and high gas prices. As Martin Feldstein points out this morning, President Obama’s solution to grow the economy with his so-called stimulus created a “bigger deficit without economic growth.” Now, more than two years later, the President has yet to offer a plan to spur economic growth, reduce our skyrocketing debt or create jobs.

In clear contrast, House Republicans’ top priority is to get people back to work and foster long-term economic growth, and we have offered a robust jobs plan that will spur growth in the private sector. We are serious about growing this economy, fostering an environment for job creation and entrepreneurial activity, and instilling optimism for small businesses and the middle class in this country. Unfortunately, all Democrats have to offer is lofty rhetoric, but not a single concrete plan.

Today In History: In 1984, the now-classic comedy Ghostbusters is released in theaters across the United States.

Birthdays: Frank Lloyd Wright, LeRoy Neiman, Barbara Bush, Joan Rivers, Nancy Sinatra, Bonnie Tyler, Julianna Margulies, Rob Ray, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Kanye West, and Maria Menounos

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ...

State Of Play: Tax Hikes Are Still Off The Table

Leader Cantor: Raising Taxes On The People Expected To Create Jobs Is Counterintuitive and A Non-Starter. House Majority Leader Eric I. Cantor said Tuesday that he believes the debt talks taking place in Washington will lead to “getting something done,” but reiterated the Republican position that tax increases are not an option. “It is counterintuitive to think that you put disincentives in place by raising taxes on the very people you’re expecting to create jobs. You can’t do that,” said Cantor, R-Henrico. “Other than that, everything’s on the table.” ... Spending cuts alone will not solve the nation’s fiscal woes, Cantor said, stressing that cuts must be accompanied by economic growth. The Daily Progress

Economic Outlook: President Obama Should Abandon His Effort To Raise Taxes and Put Forward A Pro-Growth Policy

Leader Cantor On Republican Efforts To Create An Environment Where Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Can Flourish. “Clearly the economy is not growing fast enough, and too many people remain out of work. That's why we in Congress and in the Majority have said that we have to focus on how we get Washington out of the business of making it more difficult for small business to grow. We know that small businesses are the disproportionate job creators and that's why we're driving so hard in the discussions going on in Washington around the budget and the deficit to say, look, Washington has a spending problem, it doesn't have a revenue problem. We have to make sure we are creating an environment for entrepreneurs to jump back in the game and there shouldn't be any talk of raising taxes. There should be talk of trying to ease up on the regulatory policy, and frankly, institute a sensible regulatory policy so small businesses feel that Washington is not trying to hurt them, so small business people can create jobs.” NBC 12

  • Feldstein: The Economy Will Continue To Struggle Until President Obama Stops Trying To Raise Taxes and Gets Serious About Deficit Reduction and Entitlement Reform. The policies of the Obama administration have led to the weak condition of the American economy. Growth during the coming year will be subpar at best, leaving high or rising levels of unemployment and underemployment. ... A second cause of the continued economic weakness is the president's emphasis on increasing tax rates. Although Mr. Obama grudgingly agreed to continue the Bush tax cuts for 2011 and 2012, his budget this year repeated his call for higher tax rates on upper-income individuals and multinational corporations. With that higher-tax cloud hanging over them, it is not surprising that individuals and businesses do not make the entrepreneurial investments and business expansions that would cause a solid recovery. ... A third problem stems from the administration's lack of an explicit plan to deal with future budget deficits and with the exploding national debt. This creates uncertainty about future tax increases and interest rates that impedes spending by households and investment by businesses. ... It means lower tax rates on businesses and individuals to spur entrepreneurship and investment. And it means reforming Social Security and Medicare to protect the living standards of future retirees while limiting the cost to future taxpayers. All of these things are doable. But the Obama administration has not done them and shows no inclination to do them in the future. The Wall Street Journal

The Failed Obama/Reid/Pelosi Economic Policies Have Created A Growth Deficit. After two years of Keynesian and monetarist stimulus on steroids, the anemic recovery from the 2008-09 recession is giving way to a slow-growth economy. No economist in 2009 warned that an $800 billion in federal stimulus spending and a tripling of the Fed’s balance sheet through two rounds of quantitative easing would lead to an unemployment rate that still hovers above 9%. Yet, that is exactly where things stand. This growth deficit constitutes a real world repudiation of government spending, extended unemployment benefits, targeted tax credits, temporary tax cuts and easy money by the Fed as ways to stimulate economic activity and job creation. Moreover, the growth deficit represents a clear and present danger to all efforts to reduce the federal budget deficit in the year – and years – ahead. ... Economic growth is the most important part of the effort to restore balance to the federal budget. The growth deficit has already added more than $100 billion a year to the current federal deficit, which in budget speak, totals to more than $1 trillion of lost revenue over the next 10 years. Forbes

  • Gazing Into The Crystal Ball: How Historians Will Look Back On President Obama’s Economic Policies ... By mid-2011, it was clear that Obama had done little to address the nation’s fundamental economic problems. The Washington Post

Why The GOP’s Pro-Growth Plan Is Needed – After a slew of wretched economic news, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Tuesday there had been a "loss of momentum" in the US jobs market. ... "Until we see a sustained period of stronger job creation, we cannot consider the recovery to be truly established," he told the audience. AFP

ObamaCare Update: New Study Shows Americans May Not Be Able To Keep Their Current Health Care Coverage As President Obama Promised

78 Million Americans Could Lose Their Employer Health Coverage. ObamaCare will lead to a dramatic decline in employer-provided health insurance—with as many as 78 million Americans forced to find other sources of coverage. This disturbing finding is based on my calculations from a survey by McKinsey & Company. The survey, published this week in the McKinsey Quarterly, found that up to 50% of employers say they will definitely or probably pursue alternatives to their current health-insurance plan in the years after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2014. An estimated 156 million non-elderly Americans get their coverage at work, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. ... The McKinsey study, "How US health care reform will affect employee benefits," predicts that employers will either drop coverage altogether, offer defined contributions for insurance, or offer coverage only to certain employees. The study concludes that 30% of employers overall will definitely or probably stop offering health insurance to their workers. However, among employers with a high awareness of the health-reform law, this proportion increases to more than 50%. The Wall Street Journal

A Growing Number Of House Democrats Are Joining The Republican Effort To Repeal President Obama’s Medicare Panel. One of the key provisions in President Barack Obama’s health care reform law — his preferred method for getting Medicare costs under control — is facing a groundswell of opposition from unexpected corners. Several House Democrats have signed on to support a bill to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel created by the law that is supposed to help control rising costs in Medicare. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, a prominent supporter of the law, is now actively lobbying for its repeal, too. ... Abdicating this responsibility, whether to insurance companies or an unelected commission, would undermine our ability to represent the needs of the seniors and disabled in our communities,” Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), a prominent supporter of most of the reform law, wrote in a letter to colleagues in April. Schwartz has been actively lobbying fellow Democrats to join the Republican repeal measure. So far, the bill has seven Democratic co-sponsors — most recently, Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.). Sources tell POLITICO that others also have suggested privately that they would support the bill if it comes to the House floor. Politico

Off The Beaten Path

ICYMI – America’s Doomsday Plane – ABC News

Today’s PSA: Don’t Smoke While Filling Up Your Car – The Scottish Sun

Cue The Conspiracies: Australia UFO X-Files 'Lost' – MSNBC

GOP Health Care Reforms