The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

As Leader Cantor told House Republicans on a conference call yesterday, America is facing two crises – debt and jobs – and the solution to both is economic growth. In today’s Wall Street Journal, Governor Jeb Bush and Kevin Warsh stress that ensuring long-term economic growth must be our top priority. “Stronger economic growth is not just about economics. Growth unleashes human potential. It turns personal aspirations into positive achievements. And it lays the predicate for a better, stronger, more prosperous and opportunity-filled America.” We could not agree more.
Americans have watched as Washington has become an obstacle to economic growth and job creation. Overregulation and increased burdens on businesses and families have led to record levels of unemployment. House Republicans were elected in November to change the way Washington runs, and we are squarely focused on implementing policies that will create more start-up businesses, help manufacturing succeed, and allow businesses to expand, so that jobs can be created and America can lead again.

Today In History: In 1984, the action thriller Red Dawn, starring Patrick Swayze, opens in theaters as the first movie to be released with a PG-13 rating. Red Dawn told the story of a group of teenagers who band together to protect their small Colorado town after it is invaded by Communist paratroopers from Russia and Cuba. Along with Patrick Swayze, the film co-starred C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey and Harry Dean Stanton.

Birthdays: President Herbert Hoover, Riddick Bowe, Ian Anderson, Doyle Brunson and Jimmy Dean

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ...

The Road Ahead: Growth Is The Key To Job Creation and Deficit Reduction


Former Governor Bush and Former Federal Reserve Board of Governors Member Warsh Lay Out The Foundation Of A “Grand Strategy” For Economic Growth.

  • Tax Reform Is Crucial To Economic Growth. An effective growth strategy confronts tough challenges before they become intractable. The strategy is a threat to those who take refuge in our burdensome tax code, and it is a great source of encouragement to those who seek higher rates of return on physical and human capital. Hence, fundamental tax reform—dramatically lowering tax rates for individuals and companies while eliminating loopholes, deductions and credits—is critical to economic growth.
  • Free Trade Agreements Create Jobs, Provide An Avenue For Economic Growth. Achieving strong growth requires the free flow of capital, goods and ideas. We have world-class products and services to sell to the growing middle class in emerging markets. We must find our voice to resist the rising tide of economic protectionism and recognize the job-creating benefits of our pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.
  • Reforming Entitlements and Encouraging Consumer Driven Health Care Policies Shows A Long-Term Dedication To Growth. A pro-growth strategy is decidedly long term in orientation. It aims for higher standards of living five, 10 and 20 years out, long past the next election cycle. It replaces the false promise made to the next generation of entitlement-program recipients with a solvent, dependable model that encourages work and savings. Reforming Social Security before costs multiply and uncertainties spread is both fairer and more growth-oriented. And enacting consumer-driven health-care policies represents the best way to control costs and improve patient care.

Job Creation: Republicans Ready Regulatory Reduction Package. Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia said House Republican leaders are preparing a package of legislation to be voted on this fall that would “reduce or eliminate regulatory barriers to job creation.” Americans “want to see less government -- not more taxes,” Cantor said. Bloomberg

State Of Play: Senator Reid Puts Politics Ahead Of Policy By Naming Patty Murray Co-Chair Of Deficit Panel

Reid Names Senate Dems’ Campaigner In Chief As Top Democrat On Deficit Panel. The leader, Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, also appointed two other Democratic senators, Max Baucus of Montana and John Kerry of Massachusetts, to the panel. ... Her selection raised eyebrows among Republicans because she is also chairwoman of the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. ... Mr. Reid said Mrs. Murray, a senator since 1993, had deep knowledge of budget issues and had shown an ability to “work across party lines.” The New York Times

  • Completely Unserious: Reid Appoints “Queen Of Pork” As Co-Chair Of Deficit Reduction Panel. So Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has tapped Sen. Patty “Queen of Pork” Murray (D., Nev.) to co-chair the “super commitee” whose task will be to come up with at least $1.5 trillion in additional deficit reduction by late November. If you suspect that’s Murray record when it comes to government spending leaves something to be desired, you’d be right (hence the nickname). Nation Review

The Obama Economy: Growth Outlook Remains Dim, No Plan From The President To Boost Growth

President Obama Failed To Put Forward A New Plan For Growth, Doesn’t Plan On Putting One Forward In The Near Future. Nearly halfway into his speech from the State Dining Room on Monday, President Obama finally launched into what amounts to his core job-creation message these days. He ticked off a familiar trio of policy initiatives - extend unemployment benefits and the temporary payroll tax cut, and spend more on infrastructure - and then blamed congressional Republicans for not enacting them. ... Markets were unmoved. Stocks fell before the midday speech, and they kept right on falling afterward. ... Administration officials suggest that Obama probably won't shift his message or his policy much, if at all, until Congress returns after Labor Day. The Atlantic

Pessimism Among Small Business Owners Continues To Grow. Small-business owners are continuing to lose faith in the economy, fearing it is more likely to deteriorate than improve. The Small Business Optimism Index tumbled 0.9 points to 89.9 in July, the fifth consecutive month the index has declined, according to a survey released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business. “Small businesses have become considerably more pessimistic in their outlook since the beginning of the year,” said Chris Christopher, U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight. “Small-business optimism has soured. … This report is not good since small businesses are feeling the brunt of this sluggish economic recovery.” The Washington Times

Fed Board: Growth Not At The Levels We Anticipated, Threats To Growth Continue To Mount. The Fed board, however, was quite frank about its fears for the recovery, acknowledging that “economic growth so far this year has been considerably slower” than the committee had expected and that threats to the economy have mounted. In the past few weeks, new economic indicators have shown that growth was much weaker in the first half of the year than previously thought, that job creation has been soft in the past few months, and that the manufacturing sector is slowing. The Washington Post

  • Another Growth Factor Drops: Productivity Falls For The Second Consecutive Quarter. The stalled recovery has cut deeply into the productivity of U.S. companies. Productivity, measured as output per hour of work, fell at a 0.3% annual rate in the second quarter from the first quarter, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. Revised figures showed that productivity fell 0.6% in the first quarter, down from an earlier reported gain of 1.8%. ... Productivity is a staple of economic growth. If workers aren't producing more and better goods and services, then over time the economy can grow no faster than the labor force does, leaving wages stagnant. For productivity to contract when the economy is weak and when policymakers have scant inclination or ability to boost growth is especially unsettling, Mr. Newport said. The Wall Street Journal

Freshman Focus

ICYMI - NYT Spotlights North Carolina Freshman Renee Ellmers. “There is just a lot of mistrust Americans have for ‘those people in Washington,’ ” she said, adding with a laugh, “and now I am one of those people in Washington.” Mrs. Ellmers said that before she arrived here, she believed Mr. Boehner and his cohorts were not standing up to Democrats. “When I got here I realized that wasn’t the case at all,” she said. “I was told he wasn’t conservative. He is conservative. And that’s what I tell other people in our discussion.” ... In her months on Capitol Hill, Mrs. Ellmers has revised her notion that Washington was populated by snakes in suits. “I think that folks back home see those that are here in Washington as more characters than actual individuals with families and mortgage payments,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting people to be as down to earth as they are. We’re not disconnected. We really understand what Americans are going through.” The New York Times

Keeping Tabs

Leader Cantor, Whip McCarthy, RPC Chairman Price Lead Trips To Israel. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and GOP Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price are among the 56 Republicans voyaging to the holy land in a pair of trips this month, from Aug.13 to Aug. 21 and Aug. 21st to Aug. 28. "Members participating in the trips will meet with government officials from Israel and Palestine including, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli President Shimon Peres, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad," according to a press release due out later today. "Additionally they will meet with military officials and American diplomats, and visit important historic sites throughout the country." Cantor, the highest-ranking Jewish member of Congress, will say "I am pleased to be bringing so many of our new members of Congress to Israel so that they can learn firsthand about Israel and the important role our key ally plays in the Middle East. The United States and Israel share similar core values of democracy, human rights and a strong national defense. These shared values contribute to our strong relationship and allows our two countries to work closely together to protect the interests and security of both of our nations. By visiting Israel in-person, members will better understand the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship and our role in promoting stability in this critical region.” A separate Democratic trip brings the total number of lawmakers headed to Israel this month over 80. The trips are sponsored by the nonprofit America Israel Education Foundation. Politico’s The Huddle

Off The Beaten Path

Strike Kills Militants Who Downed US Chopper – Reuters

PSA: Don’t Drink and Get Behind The Wheel Of Your Lawnmower – WSBTV

From DC To Jersey: Kickball Finds Resurgence Among Adult Players –

GOP Health Care Reforms