Yesterday, the debt limit negotiations were stalled because Democrats continue to insist that any agreement must include raising taxes. As Leader Cantor has made clear, tax increases cannot pass the House, and raising taxes is exactly the wrong move in this tough economic climate. It is time for the President to come to the table to resolve the tax issue if he wants Congress to approve his request for a debt limit increase. If resolved, we have a blueprint that identifies trillions of spending cuts and binding budget reforms that we can move forward with to ensure that America can pay its bills and Washington can begin to get its fiscal house in order. With millions of Americans out of work and record debts and deficits, we must encourage growth, lower taxes and cut government spending so that we can get this economy growing again and get people back to work.
Today in History: In 1997, U.S. Air Force officials release a 231-page report dismissing long-standing claims of an alien spacecraft crash in Roswell, New Mexico, almost exactly 50 years earlier.
Birthdays: Mick Fleetwood, Gov. George Pataki, Gary Suter, Billy Casper and Jack Dempsey
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ...
State Of Play: Democrats’ Push To Raise Taxes Stalls Debt Talks
Dems Stall Deficit Reduction Talks By Insisting On Raising Taxes. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) said he was backing out of the talks for now because the group had reached an impasse over the question of whether tax increases should be included in the deal. The only other Republican in the group, Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.), soon followed suit, agreeing that only the highest levels of leadership could break the logjam between Democrats' demand that the budget deal include tax increases and Republicans' adamant opposition to that demand. "We've reached the point where the dynamic needs to change," Mr. Cantor said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. "It is up to the president to come in and talk to the speaker. We've reached the end of this phase." The Wall Street Journal
- Pelosi: We Don’t Need To Focus On Spending Cuts, We Need To Focus On Raising Taxes. Well, I think he's right when he says it's important that the tax issue be resolved. Because while the negotiations had been proceeding in good faith and constructively by all accounts under the leadership of Vice President Biden, the discussion had largely been about cuts, but not about revenues. And if we're going have a serious package about deficit reduction, we have to be talking revenues. MSNBC’s The Last Word
Leader Cantor: Tax Increases Cannot Pass The House, Yet Democrats Insist On Trying To Raise Taxes. “As it stands, the Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases,” Mr. Cantor said in a statement. “There is not support in the House for a tax increase, and I don’t believe now is the time to raise taxes in light of our current economic situation. Regardless of the progress that has been made, the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue.” The New York Times
The Democrats’ Position Of Making Tax Increases A Condition To Raise The Debt Ceiling Makes No Sense. On Thursday, Cantor said the talks had reached an impasse; he did not attend a scheduled meeting of the group. He repeated his praise of the commission's identification of spending cuts that reach the trillions. Cantor gave considerable credit to Vice President Joe Bide. The problem is that one side continues to press tax increases, and, as Cantor explained in his announcement, the House of Representatives simply will not endorse a tax increase. ... To make tax increases a condition of raising the debt limit makes no sense. Cantor's strong stance indicates that the dynamic must change. Richmond Times-Dispatch
The Road Ahead: House To Consider A Balanced Budget Amendment In July
Leader Cantor: A Balanced Budget Amendment Is One Option To Ensure We Get The Nation’s Fiscal House In Order. The House will take up a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution as lawmakers struggle to cut a deal for increasing the nation’s debt limit, Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced Thursday. “One option to ensure that we begin to get our fiscal house in order is a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and I expect to schedule such a measure during the week of July 25th,” the Virginia Republican said in a statement released by his office. “I have no doubt that my Republican colleagues will overwhelmingly support this common sense measure and I urge Democrats to as well in order to get our fiscal house in order,” he added. Roll Call
Pro-Growth: Republicans Pass Patent Reform Legislation Boosting Innovation, Competiveness and Job Creation
Tech Companies, Universities Praise Republican Bill To Boost Innovation, Strengthen Competiveness, and Create Jobs. The Coalition for Patent Fairness, which represents companies like Google, Apple and Dell, called the bill a step forward in the effort to reform the American patent system. IBM urged the House and Senate to quickly reconcile their bills. "Now is the time to act to ensure the America Invents Act will modernize our nation's patent system, stimulate innovation and strengthen U.S. competitiveness around the world," the company said in a statement. The bill also won plaudits from a string of higher education associations, including the Association of American Universities and American Council on Education."Our universities and medical colleges are this nation's principal source of the basic research that expands the frontiers of knowledge," they said in a statement. "This bipartisan legislation represents a thorough, balanced effort to bring the U.S. patent system into the 21st century" National Journal
- Republican Bill Clears Patent Backlog, Reforms Application Process. Patent legislation that aims to clear a years-long backlog of applications and allows the patent office set its own fees was approved by the House of Representatives on Thursday. Supporters say the bill will help the patent office hire more examiners and clear out more than 700,000 applications that are awaiting approval or rejection. ... The Business Software Alliance, Eli Lilly and Co and International Business Machines Corp all praised the bill as good for their companies. "The average wait time for patent approval in the U.S. is three years," said Representative Lamar Smith, who shepherded the bill through the House. Reuters
The Obama Economy: President Obama’s Economic Policies Continue To Stifle Economic Growth
Editorial: President Obama’s Economic Agenda Has Killed Entire Swaths Of Productive Industries. If one's idea of "success" is killing whole swaths of quite productive U.S. industries driven by free markets in favor of government-created faux markets that collapse the moment taxpayers stop "priming the pump," Obamanomics has been a rousing "success." The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
CBO Director: President Obama’s Policies Have Increased Uncertainty, Stunted Economic Growth. Uncertainty about federal policies combined with the threat of long-term debt is likely slowing the nation's economic recovery, the head of the Congressional Budget Office said Thursday. Testifying before the House Budget Committee, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said that "uncertainty about federal policy is diminishing household and business spending and that uncertainty covers a whole set of policies: It covers tax policy, it covers regulatory policy and it covers health policy." "I should say the more important source of uncertainty is households and businesses uncertainty about their own incomes and demand for their products apart from government policy, and we think government policy is probably playing some role," he said a day after the CBO released a report that shows the nation's fiscal matters deteriorating more quickly and deeply than initially estimated. The Hill
- President Obama’s Stimulus Failed To Create Jobs, Smothered Private Investment, and Made The Nation’s Debt Crisis Worse, The myriad Stimulus Bills get the incentives backwards. Production, not consumption should drive the economy. Markets, not government ought to guide capital. ... Record stimuli have accomplished nothing but a budget crisis and smothered private investment. Those trillions spent by government deprive private enterprise of like amounts that might otherwise generate jobs, wealth and higher living standards. Forbes
No Message, Answers On The Economy From President Obama. President Barack Obama isn’t just grasping for ways to jolt the flailing economy. ... He’s struggling simply to find the right words to talk about it. ... Democrats now “own” the economy, says party chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz. ... The biggest challenge for Obama might be this: There’s a very good chance he’ll never be able to state with certainty that the economy has truly recovered ... with high gas prices, record-low housing values and the occasional uptick in the unemployment rate, it’s no wonder voters tell pollsters they’re sour on the economy — with four in five saying in a recent AP-GfK Poll that the economy is in poor shape. Politico
Getting To Know The Freshmen
Trey Gowdy: Rep. Trey Gowdy represents the 4th Congressional District of South Carolina. He and his wife, Terri, have two children, Watson and Abigail. He received his B.A. from Baylor University and his J.D. from the University of South Carolina. For the last 16 years, he served as a prosecutor; first as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and then as 7th Circuit Solicitor. Little known fact: He plays to a 4 handicap.
Off The Beaten Path
Nightly Lane Closures, Zombies Ahead – NKY.com
Living On The Edge
Mark Your Calendars: Cheese Dip World Cheese Dip Championship Sets 2011 Date – The Arkansas Times