The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning, 

This morning the media is abuzz about President Obama’s “Buffett tax.” Here’s our take: Warren Buffett and other millionaires and billionaires make their money by investing in companies that that employ tens of thousands of Americans. The President wants Mr. Buffett and others to send more money to Washington, a town whose fiscal track record - under both parties – isn’t something to brag about. We prefer that Mr. Buffet and his fellow job creators make more investments to open and expand more companies in the private sector. After all, creating 500 new jobs is far more preferable than sending money to Washington where it can be summarily wasted. Perhaps if Mr. Buffett would be willing to put his money toward opening businesses in minority communities that are struggling with 15-20% unemployment, the government could find ways to encourage him to do so.

Yesterday on Meet the Press, President Bill Clinton said that the only way to deal with the deficit is through economic growth. We completely agree. Yet raising taxes doesn't grow America, it simply grows Washington, D.C. Looking at the latest popularity numbers of Washington, it doesn’t seem like that would be a popular proposal.

Today In History: In 1990, the Martin Scorsese-directed Mafia film Goodfellas, starring Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco and Joe Pesci, opens in theaters around the United States. The movie, which was based on the best-selling 1986 book Wiseguy, by the New York crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi, tells the true story of the mobster-turned-FBI informant Henry Hill.

Birthdays: Adam West, Jimmy Fallon, Jeremy Irons, Mama Cass and Alison Sweeney Yesterday: James Gandolfini

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ...

State Of Play: President Obama Proposes Another Massive Tax Hike

President Obama Proposes $1.5 Trillion In Tax Increases. President Barack Obama's proposal to reduce long-term deficits with $1.5 trillion in new taxes is less an opening bid in a negotiation than it is an opening salvo in a struggle to draw sharp contrasts with congressional Republicans. ... $1.5 trillion in new revenue, which would include about $800 billion realized over 10 years from repealing the Bush-era tax rates for couples making more than $250,000. The Associated Press

Gasparino: President Obama’s Plan To Raise Taxes Will Eliminate Jobs. So President Obama is about to come out for another “millionaires tax,” one White House insiders are calling “the Buffett tax.” The sad thing is, even if he could get it, it would just be another jobs-killer. ... The new tax would presumably go to pay for some of the government spending he still says will spur the economy, despite the evidence of his first three years in office. ... forget that the plan appears to be nothing more than a class-warfare gimmick to bolster the president’s low approval ratings. And that even a tax increase on millionaires has zero chance of passing the GOP-controlled Congress -- because it couldn’t pass the old Democratic Congress. The bigger issue is this: A “soak the rich” plan makes no sense in under current economic conditions. Soaking the only people left with disposable income to spend and keep working-class Americans working is one of the dumber things you can do at a time when you need the rich to spend more, not less. New York Post

  • Chairman Ryan: By Engaging In Class Warfare President Obama Is Adding Further Instability, More Uncertainty and Punishing Job Creation. “Class warfare may make for really good politics, but it makes for rotten economics,” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “It adds further instability to our system, more uncertainty, and it punishes job creation.” The Washington Post

President Obama Targets Charities. The president continues his magical mystery tour trying to convince voters he can somehow weave jobs out of tax hikes. But on Capitol Hill there seems to be an outbreak of common sense and skepticism, including from Democratic members of Congress. It seems more than half of his $447 billion jobs program would be financed by limiting tax deductions — including the charitable tax deduction — for individuals making more than $200,000 or couples earning more than $250,000. Yes, we knew Barack Obama had a pressing need to “tax the rich” but really now, did he mean to balance his jobs bill on the backs of hospitals, universities and even soup kitchens that depend on donations to see them through, particularly in these tough times? The Boston Herald

State Of Play (2): Republicans Focus On Removing Barriers To Job Creation

Video: Learning Resource Chairman Rick Woldenberg Discusses How Burdensome Government Regulations Are Making It Difficult For Him To Sell Educational Toys To Children.

  • Chairman Woldenberg: “We have to put tracking labels on our books just in case a book poisons someone. ... There is no conceivable way that product is going to be recalled but I have to invest in computer systems, labor, data capture systems I have to know where every component came from ... ” Fox Business

Paperwork Required By Federal Regulations Drains Private Sector Productivity. Entrepreneurs and hiring managers only add staff if they think additional employees will produce more value than they consume. This happens as a matter of course in healthy, growing businesses when the amount of work that needs to be done exceeds the number of hands on deck to do it. Increasing the number of hands when the amount of work is unpredictable, stagnant, or declining is a recipe for bankruptcy. The challenge gets compounded when companies are forced to devote ever more of their employees' time to activities that deliver no benefit beyond keeping the expanding army of federal bureaucrats and regulators at bay. According to a recent report from the White House Office of Management and Budget, Americans spent 8.8 billion hours filling out government forms in fiscal year 2010. These are hours sucked out of the productive economy. OMB estimates that, at $20 an hour, the annual dead-weight loss of these compliance activities would come to $176 billion. ... Note that this is just the cost of filling out the paperwork, never mind the cost of complying with whatever regulation the paperwork is intended to monitor. How many more thousands of pages of regulations are coming next? Real Clear Markets

Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam: Washington Has Become A Red Tape Factory. “Washington has become a red tape factory, with more than 4,000 rules in the pipeline -- hundreds of which would cost our economy more than $100 million each annually. The disappointing reality is that what may be a faceless regulation to most can have a profound impact on local economies and families like yours.” USA Today

  • View House Republicans’ Efforts To Remove Burdensome Federal Regulations HERE

Keeping Tabs

Durbin Confirms Senate Dems Are Not Fired Up About President Obama’s Proposal. The Senate likely will not take up President Obama’s plan to create jobs until next month following a planned recess period, the No. 2 Democrat in the chamber said Sunday. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said the Senate would focus on a number of “related issues” to the $400 billion job-creation legislation this week. But he quickly noted on CNN that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has placed the massive jobs bill “on the calendar.” The Hill

  • Pelosi Calls For Even More Stimulus Style Spending ... House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said simply approving tax cuts without including spending on public works and local and state government assistance would not do enough to spur the economy. "To take one piece or another, it doesn't create the dynamism we need," she said. The Associated Press

NRO’s Andrew Stiles Breaks Down The President’s Deficit Proposal - In other words, Obama’s “new” “plan” to reduce the deficit will be about as serious as the budget proposal he unveiled in February. National Review Online

Off The Beaten Path

New Telescopes In Chile Will Push Astronomy's Boundaries – McClatchy

Rethinking: Netflix To Split DVD and Streaming Services – The Wall Street Journal

GOP Health Care Reforms