The July unemployment numbers were only slightly better than recent months, showing that we still have a long way to go, unemployment is still far too high, manufacturers are struggling, and consumer spending is down. We must continue to push pro-growth measures to get this economy back on track, and that is why House Republicans have put forth a robust jobs plan to spur economic growth and provide an environment where businesses have the confidence to grow and hire again. With 9.1 percent of Americans out of work, I hope the President and his party will join us on common sense pro-growth measures that do not raise taxes on families and small businesses and empower private sector job creators to hire so that people can get back to work.
Today In History: In 1957, the iconic show, American Bandstand, hosted by Dick Clark began broadcasting nationally beaming images of clean-cut, average teenagers dancing to the not-so-clean-cut Jerry Lee Lewis' "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" to 67 ABC affiliates across the nation.
Birthdays: Funkmaster Flex, Patrick Ewing, Neil Armstrong and Bloomberg’s James Rowley Tomorrow: Geri Halliwell, M. Night Shyamalan and David Robinson
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ...
State Of Play: Republicans Continue To Focus On Pro-Growth Policies To Help Get People Back To Work
Leader Cantor On The July Unemployment Report: Unemployment is far too high, manufacturers are struggling, and consumer spending is down. While a slight improvement from last month, today’s jobs report shows that our economy is ailing and we must push pro-growth polices to get back on track so that businesses can begin to hire and people can get back to work. The recent debt limit agreement was an important step forward for our country and accomplished needed reforms without raising taxes on working families and small businesses. However, upon signing this bipartisan package, President Obama renewed his call for tax increases – while at the same time saying he would focus on creating jobs. The President can’t have it both ways. Raising taxes on the very small businesses we are counting on to create jobs is exactly the wrong prescription for economic growth – and a call for tax hikes shows the President remains out of touch on these tough economic issues. Press Release
- Cantor: President Obama Continues To Advocate For The Wrong Approach: Higher Taxes and More Stimulus Spending. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Ohio) said on CNBC that while “the number was a slight improvement over last month, it certainly wasn’t what we hoped to be.” “Right on the day that (Obama) signed the agreement this week, after all we’ve been through, he begins to advocate for higher taxes and more stimulus spending,” Cantor said. “Now, I would say that we’ve been there, done that…. Let’s at least do something else.” Politico
Republicans Stress The Need To Create A Pro-Growth Environment. ... talk to investors and you come away with the distinct impression that they've figured out the truth about President Obama's economic policy -- there's no there there. ... Republicans, meanwhile, can't push through their own pro-growth agenda, because the president still has the power to stop what he sees as providing aid and comfort to the enemy -- namely "millionaires and billionaires." House Majority Leader Eric Cantor recently told me there's not much he and his colleagues can do other than make the case for a business-friendly environment, and push to limit the Obama regulations that are forcing firms to hire overseas instead of here at home. But it seems next to impossible to reverse the debilitating effects of the granddaddy of regulation, the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law, which makes it more difficult for banks to lend to small businesses and forces Wall Street firms to get out of businesses that had little to do with the housing sins that led to the 2008 financial collapse. New York Post
- Republican Efforts To Spur Growth: Reduce Regulation, Tax Code Reform, and Expand H1B-Visas. Republicans are generally skeptical of Mr. Obama's economic policies. Their ideas for job growth include reducing federal regulation, overhauling the corporate tax code to lower rates, issuing more visas for high-skilled workers and expanding oil drilling. ... Congressional leaders say they're ready to move on three free trade agreements that have been stuck for years, with action expected next month. An effort to overhaul patent law to speed the process also has gained traction. The Wall Street Journal
Editorial: Tax Reform – The Key To Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction. What everyone inside and outside the Beltway wants to know, given the recent economic funk, is: Where will the growth come from? Certainly not from another round of failed Keynesian spending blowouts. The White House's lame call for an infrastructure bank this week is merely a stimulus redux, and Republicans have seen enough "shovel ready projects" to last two lifetimes. ... Junking the tax code is one of his last chances to pour growth hormones into a sickly economy and get jobs back before November 2012. For their part, Republicans could use a tax restructuring to tap the Laffer Curve growth effects of lower rates. There's no reason for the GOP to defend special-interest favors in the tax code doled out to the housing industry, nonprofits, the municipal bond sellers, and the green-energy lobby. The value of trading in all those undeserved favors for a 25% tax rate would be enormously positive, and by growing the economy, would lower the deficit. The Wall Street Journal
The Obama Economy: No Solutions From The White House As Unemployment Continues To Remain Above 9%
Still No Specifics From The Administration Regarding Growth. In Thursday’s White House briefing, press secretary Jay Carney wouldn’t say what President Obama plans to announce for the new economic measures he said he would be talking about soon. “We're looking at a variety of options,” Carney said, adding that he “won't get into specifics about what they may be.” Politico
- Big Companies Remain Cautious – Remain On Sidelines In Fear Of More Bad Economic News. Weakening demand in the United States and Europe has spooked some in corporate America, prompting big companies to throttle back their spending just as U.S. government looks for ways to cut its own outlays. That new wave of fears is threatening to choke off a fledgling resurgence in capital investment by big companies -- one of the few areas where economic activity was growing. ... Corporate caution will only represent a further weight on the economy, which has seen consumer spending depressed by a stubbornly high unemployment rate that has held near or above 9 percent for most of the past two years. Reuters
Krugman Defines The Obama Economy: Growth Has Never Looked As Inadequate As It Does Now. It’s not just that the threat of a double-dip recession has become very real. It’s now impossible to deny the obvious, which is that we are not now and have never been on the road to recovery. For two years, officials at the Federal Reserve, international organizations and, sad to say, within the Obama administration have insisted that the economy was on the mend. Every setback was attributed to temporary factors — It’s the Greeks! It’s the tsunami! — that would soon fade away ... at no point has growth looked remotely adequate given the depth of the initial plunge. The New York Times
- Americans Are Facing The Prospect Of Permanent Unemployment For The First Time Since WWII. Not only are vast numbers of Americans unemployed or underemployed, for the first time since the Great Depression many American workers are facing the prospect of very-long-term — maybe permanent — unemployment. Among other things, the rise in long-term unemployment will reduce future government revenues, so we’re not even acting sensibly in purely fiscal terms. The New York Times
Noonan’s Memo To The President: A Speech Is Only On As Effective As The Ideas In It. Late in the meeting, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor asked the president a question. As Mr. Cantor told it this week, he was thinking about how the White House and the Republicans were still far apart on the size of budget cuts. He felt the president and his party were hung up on an insistence on raising taxes. Mr. Cantor asked Mr. Obama if he would drop his stand that the debt ceiling should be raised without dollar-for-dollar cuts. At that point, said Mr. Cantor, the president "turned to me and said, 'Eric, don't call my bluff.' He said, 'I'm going to take this to the American people.'" Then he got up and left. ... the president is supposed to be great at speeches. Why isn't it working anymore? One answer is that it never "worked." The power of the president's oratory was always exaggerated. It is true that a good speech put him on the map in 2004 and made his rise possible, and true he gave some good speeches in 2008. ... But speeches aren't magic. A speech is only as good as the ideas it advances. Reagan had good ideas. Obama does not. The debt ceiling crisis revealed Mr. Obama's speeches as rhetorical kryptonite. It is the substance that repels the listener. The Wall Street Journal
Off The Beaten Path
'Rent Is Too Damn High' Candidate Facing Eviction From Rent-Controlled Apartment – NY Post
Swarm Of Bees Closes Highway
Super Fan Has Caught Over 5,000 Baseballs