The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning, 

This week, the House remains focused on changing the system in Washington and implementing serious spending cuts and binding budget reforms to get our fiscal house in order. On Tuesday, the House will vote on the Cut, Cap and Balance Act which begins to manage down our debt and deficit, cuts current spending, and caps future spending, while meeting the President's request for a debt limit increase. Through this balanced approached, we will give small businesses and families the certainty that Washington can be a partner, not an obstacle, to economic growth and job creation.

Today In History: In 1986, new close-up videotapes of the sunken ocean liner Titanic were released to the public. Taken on the first manned expedition to the wreck, the videotapes are stunning in their clarity and detail, showing one of the ship's majestic grand staircases and a coral-covered chandelier swinging slowly in the ocean current.

Birthdays: Nelson Mandela, Sen. John Glenn, Olivier Knox, Vin Diesel, Richard Branson, Joe Torre and Hunter S. Thompson

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ...

State Of Play: Republicans Continue To Take Serious Steps To Get The Nation’s Fiscal House In Order

Cantor, Goodlatte Op-Ed: It’s Time To End The Reckless Borrowing and Spending. We all know that Washington has a spending problem. In recent years, federal spending has increased at an unsustainable pace, allowing our national debt to spiral out of control. The annual deficits and the resulting debt continue to grow due to political pressures and dependence on government programs. ... Short-term spending cuts are necessary to begin to get our fiscal house in order but will not be enough without long-term changes. That's why a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is the only way to ensure that Congress curtails its spending on an annual basis regardless of which party is in control. ... Together we must make the tough choices necessary to control spending, pave the way for a return to surpluses and ultimately pay down the national debt. A balanced budget amendment would force Congress to do this, make reckless borrowing a thing of the past and secure a much better future for our children and grandchildren. The Richmond Times-Dispatch

The Administration Prioritizes Tax Increases Over Getting The Nation’s Fiscal House In Order: Any Spending Cuts Greater Than $1 Trillion Need To Be Accompanied By Tax Increases

  • David Gregory: If you get beyond a trillion dollars and he still can’t get any tax increases, the President said I’m not willing sign something that cuts more spending without having tax increases.
  • Jack Lew: What the President said was to do major structural changes on the spending side there would have to be tax increases. I think one can see a path to getting well over a trillion on things that we should be able to agree on. Meet The Press

Whip Hoyer Exemplifies The Democrats’ Unwillingness To Cut Spending, Pushes For Clean Debt Limit. “I have told Mr. Boehner that our party stands ready to ensure we do not default on our debts. And I believe that almost every member of our party if not every member of our party would vote on a clean extension to make that happen.” Press Conference

  • Rep. Welch Refuses To Cut Spending, Threatens To Block Debt Limit Unless It’s Clean. “It’s looking like default or a clean extension,” Welch said in an interview. He said he was getting support from “more and more Democrats, including some members who did not vote for the clean extension on the floor however many weeks ago” Politico

The Economy: In President Obama’s Economy, Growth Is Not On The Agenda

Goldman Sachs Downgrades U.S. Growth Outlook, Says Unemployment To Remain Elevated Until At Least The End Of 2012. Following another week of weak economic data, we have cut our estimates for real GDP growth in the second and third quarter of 2011 to 1.5% and 2.5%, respectively, from 2% and 3.25%. Our forecasts for Q4 and 2012 are under review, but even excluding any further changes we now expect the unemployment rate to come down only modestly to 8¾% at the end of 2012. Reuters

President Obama’s Policies Increase Uncertainty, Discourage Investment, Job Creation and Hiring. Another part of the explanation involves broader economic conditions. The same concerns about weak sales and an uncertain economic outlook that depress job creation also undercut the desire to fill openings. We live in a time of extraordinary uncertainty about government policy with respect to taxes, health care, financial regulation, monetary issues, environmental regulation, and other areas. The political impasse over the federal debt ceiling further muddles the outlook. Policy uncertainty discourages investment, job creation and hiring. Bloomberg

Raising Taxes Produces Less Revenue, Destroys Economic Growth. Two problems arise when marginal tax rates are raised. First, as college students learn in Econ 101, higher marginal rates cause real economic harm. The combined marginal rate from all taxes is a vital metric, since it heavily influences incentives in the economy—workers and employers, savers and investors base decisions on after-tax returns. Thus tax rates need to be kept as low as possible, on the broadest possible base, consistent with financing necessary government spending. Second, as tax rates rise, the tax base shrinks and ultimately, as Art Laffer has long argued, tax rates can become so prohibitive that raising them further reduces revenue—not to mention damaging the economy. That is where U.S. tax rates are headed if we do not control spending soon. The Wall Street Journal

  • There is only one solution to this growth-destroying, confiscatory tax-rate future: Control spending growth, especially of entitlements. Meaningful tax reform—not with higher rates as Mr. Obama proposes, but with lower rates on a broader base of economic activity and people—can be an especially effective complement to spending control. But without increased spending discipline, even the best tax reforms are doomed to be undone. The Wall Street Journal

Getting To Know The Freshmen

Marlin Stutzman: Rep. Marlin Stutzman represents the third district of Indiana. Prior to being elected to Congress, Stutzman served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 2002-2008, and in the Indiana State Senate from 2008-2010. When first elected at the age of twenty-six, he served as the youngest member of the Indiana legislature until 2006, and established his reputation early-on as a full-spectrum conservative. With a solid track record of lower taxes, less regulation, and balanced budgets, Stutzman was awarded the “Small Business Champion of the Year” award in 2008 from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Congressman Stutzman and his wife, Christy, have two sons, Payton and Preston, and make their home in Howe, Indiana. The Stutzmans are active members of Community Baptist Church, and Congressman Stutzman has a passion for foreign mission work, having served on short-term mission trips to Russia, Haiti, Mexico, and Guatemala. (Courtesy of the Whip’s Office)

Off The Beaten Path

Yeah ... We’re Still Working The Kinks Out Of The Water Powered Jet Pack

... Someone’s A Huge Fan Of Charlie Brown

Clown Watch: Forget The Clown Car, Check This Out

GOP Health Care Reforms