The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning, 

The economy added zero jobs last month and unemployment is still over 9 percent, yet President Obama continues to recycle his failed plan for job creation: more stimulus-style spending. Yesterday in Detroit, President Obama repeated his call for more government spending and implored politicians to drop the partisan rhetoric, but then immediately turned around and berated Congress with more partisan language.

On Thursday, the President will address Congress to offer his long-awaited plan for job creation. House Republicans, who have been focused on jobs and growth since day one, stand ready to work with the President to promote long-term economic growth, but we must do so in a way that does not repeat the mistakes of the past. We need to implement common sense policies to create jobs by repealing unnecessary job-destroying federal regulations, eliminating wasteful government spending to allow the private sector to grow and help get Americans back to work.

Today In History: In 1995, Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. plays in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking "Iron Horse" Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive games played.

Birthdays: Jeff Foxworthy, Roger Walters, Pippa Middleton and Dan Ronayne Yesterday: Freddie Mercury

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ...

State Of Play: More Americans Are Saying The President’s Economic Agenda Is Hurting The Economy Than Helping It

The Washington Post – ABC News Poll: By 2 To 1, More Americans Now Say The President’s Economic Policies Are Making The Economy Worse Rather Than Better. More than 60 percent of those surveyed say they disapprove of the way the president is handling the economy and, what has become issue No. 1, the stagnant jobs situation. Just 43 percent now approve of the job he is doing overall, a new career low; 53 percent disapprove, a new high. ... Nonetheless, current trends are highly unfavorable for the president. By 2 to 1, more Americans now say the administration’s economic policies are making the economy worse rather than better. The number who say those policies have helped has been chopped in half since the start of the year. Of the more than six in 10 who now disapprove of Obama’s work on jobs and the economy, nearly half of all Americans “strongly” disapprove. The Washington Post

  • 62% Of Americans Disapprove Of President Obama’s Approach To Job Creation The Washington Post

Not Since 1945: No Net Jobs Created In August For The First Time In 66 Years. Obama could be including himself in that call for action. His remarks came as he's facing biting criticism from the GOP for presiding over a persistently weak economy and high unemployment. Republicans dubbed him "President Zero" after a dismal jobs report last Friday showed that employers added no jobs in August — which hasn't happened since 1945. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained unchanged at 9.1 percent. The Associated Press

Doubling Down On Failed Tactics Is Not The Answer; The Focus Must Be On Private Sector Growth. Obama must move away from the blame-shifting and excuse-making that marked his prevacation appearances — tactics better-suited for the campaign trail — and establish himself as a leader willing and able to confront the employment crisis. That requires a plan with a strong focus on private sector growth. The initial $1 trillion in stimulus spending was heavily weighted toward government initiatives and political priorities ... it is indisputable that it is not working now to generate the growth Obama promised and the nation needs. The economy is growing at barely above a 1 percent annual rate and could easily topple into a second recession, if it hasn't already. ... Investors have little confidence in the direction of the economy, so they are sitting on money that ought to be invested in job creating enterprises. The answer is not more of the same. ... Growth is a smarter way to generate additional taxes from businesses than raising the rates and thus operating costs. The former approach creates jobs; the latter kills them. The Detroit News

The NBC News/ Wall Street Journal Poll Puts President Obama’s Failed Economic Agenda On Full Display

  • 77% Say Over The Next 12 Months The Economy Will Stay The Same Or Worsen
  • 59% Of Americans Disapprove Of President Obama’s Policies In General
  • 37% Say President Obama’s Economic Policies Have Hurt The Economy, 39% Say President Obama’s Economic Policies Had Little To No Effect On The Economy
  • Only 19% Of Americans Believe The Country Is Headed In The Right Direction


Growth: How To Create Jobs and Boost Economic Growth – Send The Pending Free Trade Agreements To Congress.

Sen McConnell: The FTA’s Have Bipartisan Support and Could Be Enacted Immediately To Boost Job Creation and Economic Growth. According to the White House, President Obama has been huddling with advisers on a jobs plan he’ll present to Congress this week. One thing he could do immediately is finalize the free-trade deals with Colombia, South Korea and Panama that have been languishing on his desk. ... the White House claims to support all three agreements. It even said in July that Republicans are the ones standing in the way of ratification. But this is absurd because Congress can’t ratify trade agreements until the president submits them for congressional approval. He knows as well as I do that once he does, all three would garner wide bipartisan support ... By sending these trade deals to Congress immediately, Obama would not only help ensure the creation of jobs here at home but would also boost Americans’ confidence about the prospects for a broader economic recovery and, crucially, about lawmakers’ ability to work together. Obama says he wants bipartisan solutions. Here’s one Congress is willing to enact immediately. The Washington Post

  • Memo To The Administration: Where The Jobs Aren’t ... The gigantic public investments in green energy may be stimulating innovation and helping the environment. But they are not evidence that the government knows how to create private-sector jobs. There’s a wealth of other evidence to suggest that the green economy will not be a short-term jobs machine. According to Investor’s Business Daily, executives at Johnson Controls turned $300 million in green technology grants into 150 jobs — that’s $2 million per job. Sunil Sharan, a former director of The Smart Grid Initiative at General Electric, wrote in The Washington Post that the Smart Grid, while efficient and environmentally beneficial, will be a net job destroyer. For example, 28,000 meter-reading jobs will be replaced by the Smart Grid’s automatic transmitters. A study by McKinsey suggests that clean energy may produce jobs for highly skilled engineers, but it will not produce many jobs for U.S. manufacturing workers. Gordon Hughes, formerly of the World Bank and now an economist at the University of Edinburgh, surveyed the landscape and concluded: “There are no sound economic arguments to support an assertion that green energy policies will increase the total level of employment in the medium or longer term when we hold macroeconomic conditions constant.” ... We should pursue green innovation. We just shouldn’t imagine these efforts will create the jobs we need. The New York Times

The Road Ahead: House Republicans Plan Votes To Remove Onerous Regulations To Boost Job Growth

Cantor, House Republicans To Focus On Tax Reform & Job-Destroying Regulations. Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., signaled the GOP’s intentions in an August memorandum outlining House legislative priorities light on tax cuts and heavy on regulatory rollbacks. ... “Each week, one week at a time, we’re going to put one regulation on the floor to roll back,” Cantor said. ... Cantor said the House will consider legislation that would change how agencies and the executive branch write rules. One bill (HR 10) introduced in January by Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Ky., would require congressional approval for rules costing more than $100 million a year — a proposal that could raise legal challenges under the separation of powers. ... In July, South Carolina Republican Tim Scott introduced a bill that would withdraw the authority of the NLRB to rule on the decisions of companies to relocate their operations. Cantor called it a “common sense step of preventing the NLRB from restricting where an employer can create jobs in the United States” and said he will bring the measure (HR 2587) to the floor the week of Sept. 12. CQ

  • Mountains Of Federal Regulations Continue To Stifle Economic Growth and Job Creation. The business community is also warning that a flood of federal regulations will limit growth and job creation. Obama should suspend implementation of any regulation with potential impact on the economy until the unemployment rate falls below 6 percent. The Environmental Protection Agency in particular must be throttled. The EPA's war on coal affects power plants that provide roughly half of the nation's electricity. In Michigan, DTE Energy says the new rules will take 20 percent of its capacity off line within three years. Without an assured supply of energy, companies will not invest in new facilities. The Dodd-Frank financial regulations should be re-examined for their impact on the credit markets. Banks say the new rules regarding risk and capitalization limit their ability to make loans, particularly to small- and midsize businesses that create most of the jobs. ... And, of course, nothing would soothe investment jitters like a suspension of implementation of Obamacare, which promises to crush employers with added health care costs. The Detroit News

The Obama Administration vs. Job Creators In South Carolina. You have to wonder about a federal agency that sticks it to an American manufacturer creating thousands of good-paying jobs inside the nation's borders instead of overseas. ... As it stands today, the plant is open and gearing up to produce its first Dreamliner. Boeing has hired 1,000 workers for it in the past year, and also operates 787-related facilities around the plant with thousands of additional employees. If Solomon gets his way, forcing production to Washington, Boeing will be stuck with a $750 million custom-built plant and a trained workforce that can't be used. Beyond that, the 787 already is running three years behind schedule. An additional government-imposed delay would be a gift to European rival Airbus. Talk about a chilling effect on job creation. What company would invest a fortune in a new facility if the government can change the rules and idle it? That's how banana republics operate, not the United States of America. The Chicago Tribune

  • House Republicans Continue Focus On Tax Reform, Job Creation. With the economy continuing to sputter, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House majority leader, laid out a growth package last week that included a proposed 20 percent deduction for small businesses. ... In his recent policy memo, Cantor signaled that more immediate tax initiatives would not distract from the longer-term goal of comprehensive tax reform. Details for the proposed small business tax relief, which would allow owners to take a deduction equal to 20 percent of their earnings, still need to be worked out. But the idea is modeled after a plank in Camp and Cantor’s alternative to the 2009 stimulus. “All House Republicans share the goal of broad, pro-growth tax reform that broadens the base and lowers the rates,” added Brad Dayspring, a Cantor spokesman. “That takes time, and with America facing a jobs crisis, the small business tax relief is something we can do in the interim to grow the economy and jobs.” The Hill

Keeping Tabs

The Bigger The Stage, The Smaller The Speech. President Obama will this week be addressing a joint session of Congress that doesn't really want to hear from him about a jobs plan that he doesn't really have. Expectations are high, the byproduct of a highly publicized back and forth with Republican Speaker John Boehner over the date of the president's speech. If you're a White House with a message, that's a good thing. Unfortunately for President Obama, he doesn't have one. How do we know he doesn't? We know it from the White House itself. On Friday, Ed Henry quoted an unnamed presidential aide telling Fox News that while he didn't want to "downplay the speech," he needed to shoot down "the idea that this is the be-all and end-all." So if this is not the "be-all and end-all" we've been told it was for weeks, why the initial announcement it would be held the same night Republican presidential candidates were holding a televised debate? And why do it before a joint session of Congress? ... The answer to the other question has more to do with our Looking Glass Beltway. In this universe, a bigger stage is often the solution for a lack of substance. Put it this way: Without the backdrop of a joint session of Congress, how many networks would broadcast another Obama jobs speech? ... Even inside the Beltway, however, substance ultimately tells. Three years into his presidency, the grander the stage the smaller Mr. Obama comes across. The Wall Street Journal

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