The big win in the Budget Control Act is that despite calls for tax increases by the President and his party, the law makes progress towards managing down our debt and ensures America pays its bills without raising taxes. And yet after signing this historic agreement, President Obama again pushed for policy that counters basic economic sense. Speaking from the Rose Garden, the President renewed his call for tax increases, calling for a “balanced approach” as Congress works towards the second tranche of spending cuts, and declaring that he will focus on adding jobs in this economy. Raising taxes on working families and the small businesses we are counting on to create jobs won’t boost economic growth or make it easier for businesses to hire. The President can’t have it both ways, and raising taxes is not the answer with millions of Americans out of work.
Today In History: In 1949, after a damaging three-year battle to win both players and fans, the rival Basketball Association of America (BAA) and National Basketball League (NBL) merge to form the National Basketball Association (NBA). The new NBA was made up of 17 teams that represented both small towns and large cities across the country.
Birthdays: Martin Sheen, Tom Brady, Tony Bennett, Martha Stewart, James Hetfield, and John Parkinson
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ...
State Of Play: Republicans Make Their Economic Priorities Clear: Incentivize Job Creation and Curbing Government Spending
Leader Cantor: House Republicans Have Begun To Curb Washington’s Spending Habits. "We didn't get into this problem overnight and this bill doesn't fix it overnight, but I think the precedent we began to set was that we got to stop spending money we don't have, said Cantor. NBC 12
- It’s A Spending Problem: Americans Support Republican Efforts To Cut Spending & Rein In The Deficit. As you may know, the agreement would cut about one trillion dollars in government spending over the next ten years with provisions to make additional spending cuts in the future. Regardless of how you feel about the overall agreement, do you approve or disapprove of the cuts in government spending included in the debt ceiling agreement? Sixty five percent approve of deal’s spending cuts. But it gets worse. Of the 30 percent who disapprove, 13 percent think the cuts haven’t gotten far enough, and only 15 percent think the cuts go too far. One sixth of Americans agree with the liberal argument about the deal. ... the poll finds that a plurality (49-42) believes the deal will help the economy, meaning a plurality believes the Republican argument that spending cuts are good economic policy. The Plum Line
Majority Leader Cantor: Now is not the time for us to be considering tax hikes when there is over 9 percent unemployment and so many people out of work. Press Release
- Obama Insider: Any Increase In Taxes Would Be Detrimental To The Economy: Don Peebles: "Well, I think the door should have been slammed on any new taxes. I think it's closed but not slammed. Hard core reality is that there's no appetite in the financial markets, businesses cannot afford it. Any increase in taxes, I think, would be detrimental to the economy. This is an opportunity where we see the President getting a benefit from a Republican House of Representatives because had there been Democratic control of both chambers and the congress you would have seen a bill delivered to the President's desk that would have been far different than this and would have been focusing much more on revenue generation at a time I don't think we can afford it. I think it's a very positive thing for businesses." CNBC (h/t @WaysandMeansGOP)
Chairman Ryan: President Obama Still Hasn’t Put Forward A Credible Plan To Get The Nation’s Fiscal House In Order. He still hasn't put forward a credible plan to tackle the threat of ever-rising spending and debt, and his evasiveness is emblematic of the party he leads. Ever since they abused the budget process to jam their health-care takeover through Congress last year, the Democrats have simply done away with serious budgeting altogether. The simplest explanation—and the president's real bluff—is that they don't want to commit publicly to the kind of tax increases and health-care rationing that would be required to sustain their archaic vision of government. The president's February budget deliberately dodged the tough choices necessary to confront the threat of runaway federal spending. It was rejected unanimously in a Senate controlled by his own party. Since then he has offered a lot of rhetoric but no real plan to avoid a spending-driven debt crisis. His speeches and press conferences are no substitutes for actual budgets with specific numbers and independently verified projections of future deficits and debt. Meanwhile, it has been over two years since the Democrat-controlled Senate passed any budget at all. This is a historic failure to fulfill one of the most basic responsibilities of governing. The Wall Street Journal
- Republicans Have A Plan To Put The Country On A Path To Fiscal Balance Without Resorting To Job-Destroying Tax Hikes. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), our plan puts the federal budget on the path to balance without resorting to job-destroying tax hikes. It will eliminate the shadow of debt that is discouraging job creation while advancing pro-growth tax reforms to get the economy moving again. By contrast, the president and his party's leaders have refused to submit specific, credible budget plans that tackle health-care costs while restoring economic growth. Unwilling to reconsider their failed bureaucratic approaches to health and retirement security, the Democrats can only propose tax increases, and lots of them. The Wall Street Journal
State Of Play(2): President Obama, Democrats Make Their Priorities Clear: Raising Taxes
President Obama Continues Insist On Raising Taxes. Democrats are furious that tax revenues weren't part of the package, and the president pledged to continue to press for tax increases to help balance the budget. "Everyone is going to have to chip in. It's only fair," Obama said in a Rose Garden address, singling out subsidies to oil and gas companies and tax loopholes. "That's the principle I'll be fighting for during the next phase of this process." McClatchy
- Harry Reid: Tax Increases Are A Must. "We've had too much talk (from) Republican leaders in the Senate saying there will be no revenue. That's not going to happen," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. McClatchy
From The Left: Raise Taxes On Everyone. Democrats will have exactly one chance to overcome the GOP’s resistance to tax revenue. Next year, the Bush tax cuts expire. If Congress does nothing, we revert to Clinton-era tax rates for everyone, and the federal coffers fill with $3.6 trillion in additional revenue over the next 10 years — enough to stabilize deficits. ... The White House should announce that it won’t extend any of the Bush tax cuts and will instead insist on a Gang-of-Six-esque plan that cleans the code, lowers rates for everyone, and raises $2 trillion or more in revenue. The Washington Post
The Obama Economy: Instead Of Focusing On Growth, President Obama Puts Forward More Of The Same Failed Economic Policies
President Obama Attempts To Resurrect His Economic Agenda That Has Failed To Put Americans Back To Work. Obama offered little praise for the $2.1 trillion deficit package during a press conference at the Rose Garden, instead vowing to fight for “new jobs, higher wages and faster economic growth” in the coming months — an agenda he has tried to resurrect at least a half-dozen times in the past two years. Politico
- President Obama Continues To Ignore Calls For Pro-Growth Measures Despite Unemployment Exceeding The Administration’s Own Projections. On the current policy path, it would be surprising if growth were rapid enough to reduce unemployment even to 8.5 percent by the end of 2012. ... With growth at less than 1 percent in the first half of this year, the economy is effectively at a stall and facing the prospects of shocks from a European financial crisis that is decidedly not under control, spikes in oil prices and declines in business and household confidence. The indicators suggest that the economy has at least a 1-in-3 chance of falling back into recession if nothing new is done to raise demand and spur growth. The Washington Post
Another Challenge From The Left: Stern Says President Obama Needs To Stop Talking and Put Forward A Plan For Jobs. “He needs to stop simply talking jets and corporate tax breaks — only as they pertain to jobs — and he needs to put out his own plan.” Politico
The Road Ahead: House Republicans Continue Work On A Pro-Growth Overhaul Of The Tax Code
Leader Cantor, House GOP Continue To Work On Pro-Growth Tax Reform Measures. The battle lines are already being drawn over how to grow our economy out of its current dismal state ... GDP growth is almost nonexistent. Friday’s report brought not just awful numbers for the second quarter, but also a steep downward revision on first-quarter growth. Add in a separate report this week showing that manufacturing is falling off a cliff, and most serious people, left and right, in Washington and on Wall Street, fear that we could be heading for a double-dip recession. ... Congressional sources tell me that Republicans led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor are already trying to seize the high ground. Something you’ll likely hear more about is a growth plan that overhauls the tax code by closing loopholes and bringing down tax rates -- along the lines of the proposals by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Obama’s own deficit reduction-commission -- to prod businesses into hiring workers again. New York Post
- President Obama Continues To Ignore Calls For Pro-Growth Measures Despite Unemployment Remaining Well Above Levels Projected By The Administration. But don't expect any help from the president. After all, he summarily ignored every one of the pro-growth and deficit-cutting ideas advocated by the commission he appointed. Worse, the “big idea” he proposed yesterday is a “new infrastructure bank” to put hard hats back to work by building roads and bridges. Sounds good until you consider the failure of his last “infrastructure” drive -- all those “shovel-ready” projects in the $800 billion stimulus package. It was supposed to create jobs in construction and fight unemployment everywhere else. But it did little of anything; much of the money was simply transferred to state governments, which used it to delay laying off government workers. By the president’s estimates, the stimulus plan was supposed to bring overall unemployment down to around 7 percent by now; it’s 9.2 percent overall -- and in construction it’s around 15 percent. New York Post
Off The Beaten Path
Debt Deal Signed ... Take A Moment
Bosnia Gets First Taste Of McDonald's – AFP
It’s No Jurassic Park But ... Baby Gators!