The Leader's Ledger

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Good morning, 

BREAKING: WARREN BUFFETT SEEMS TO DISAGREE WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA’S “BUFFETT RULE.” OUCH.

Buffett also refused to endorse the President’s America Jobs Act. This comes after just yesterday, Senator Durbin acknowledged what has been apparent for two weeks: the President’s jobs plan has little chance of passing the Democrat-controlled Senate. As Senator Durbin said, in order for the President’s plan to pass “it needs to be bipartisan” and he conceded the Senate will not increase taxes on small businesses and families. As Leader Cantor has made clear, there are several areas in the President’s plan that have common ground with House Republicans jobs plan where we can work together to produce results right away – including regulatory relief and lowering taxes for small businesses & employers. With millions of Americans out of work, we cannot afford to let pro-growth measures get stopped by partisan gridlock. House Republicans are squarely focused on spurring job creation through policies that have bipartisan support and removing the obstacles preventing growth to allow businesses to hire and people to get back to work. We hope the President will ease up on his campaign-style politics and work with us to produce the results the American people need and expect.

Today In History: In 1889, the Wyoming state convention approves a constitution that includes a provision granting women the right to vote. Formally admitted into the union the following year, Wyoming thus became the first state in the history of the nation to allow its female citizens to vote.

Birthdays: Johnny Mathis, Monica Bellucci, Lacey Chabert, T-Pain, Jenna Elfman, and Jamal Anderson

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ...

State Of Play: Senate Whip Durbin Admits He Doesn’t Have The Votes, Democrats Are Divided On The President’s Proposal 

Durbin: Senate Democrats Don’t Have The Votes To Pass The President’s Jobs Bill. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said, at the moment, Democrats in Congress don’t have the votes to pass President Obama’s jobs bill ... “Not at the moment, I don’t think we do, but, uh, we can work on it,” Durbin said, according to Chicago radio station WLS. ... The oil-producing-state senators don’t like eliminating or reducing the subsidy for oil companies,” Durbin said. “There are some senators who are up for election who say ‘I’m never gonna vote for a tax increase while I’m up for election, even on the wealthiest people.’ So, we’re not gonna have 100 percent of Democratic senators.” The Hill


State Of Play (2): Dodd-Frank Fall Out - Durbin Measure Causes Banks To Pass Costs On To Consumers

Durbin Amendment To Dodd-Frank Causes Banks Nationwide To Start Charging Fees For Debt Card Use. Bank of America, the nation’s biggest bank, said on Thursday that it planned to start charging customers a $5 monthly fee when they used their debit cards for purchases. It was just one of several new charges expected to hit consumers as new regulations crimp banks’ profits. Wells Fargo and Chase are testing $3 monthly debit card fees. Regions Financial, based in Birmingham, Ala., plans to start charging a $4 fee next month, while SunTrust, another regional powerhouse, is charging a $5 fee. The round of new charges stems from a rule, which takes effect on Saturday, that limits the fees that banks can levy on merchants every time a consumer uses a debit card to make a purchase. The rule, known as the Durbin amendment, after its sponsor Senator Richard J. Durbin, is a crucial part of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law. The New York Times

  • Durbin Amendment Causes Banks To Cut Jobs, Become Less Consumer-Friendly. This Saturday, government price controls on debit card interchange fees (which card issuers charge to merchants) go into effect. The controls are the result of the Durbin amendment to last year's Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation. ... Some consumers who previously banked for free will be unable or unwilling to pay these fees merely for the privilege of a bank account. ... Consumers will also be encouraged to shift from debit cards to more profitable alternatives such as credit cards, which remain outside the Durbin amendment's price controls. ... By making many new customers unprofitable, however, the Durbin amendment eliminates the incentive to compete by offering more branches. Citing the negative impact of the Durbin amendment and other regulations on customer profitability, Texas-based IBC bank recently announced its decision to close 55 supermarket-based branches, eliminating 500 jobs, rather than increasing banking fees. Other banks will inevitably follow suit. ... Durbin amendment will have long-term consequences for the consumer banking system. Wealthier consumers will be able to avoid the pinch of higher banking fees by increasing their use of credit cards. Many low-income consumers will not. Banking will become less innovative and consumer-friendly. The Wall Street Journal


Tone Check: President Obama, The Commander-In-Chief, Calls America “Soft”

President Obama Blasts America, Says The Nation Has Gotten “Soft.” “This is a great country that had gotten a little soft, and we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades,” Obama told Payne. The Orlando Sentinel


The Road Ahead: The Majority Of Americans Prefer The Republican Approach To The Economy

Americans Say Republicans Are Better Situated To Handle The Other Most Important Problems Facing The Nation – Jobs & Unemployment. Americans perceive Republicans as better able than Democrats to handle what they name as the nation's most important problem, giving the GOP the clear advantage on this metric for the first time. Gallup asks Americans each month to name the most important problem facing the country and occasionally poses a follow-up question asking which party they perceive as better able to handle that problem. The responses to this follow-up question have varied over the past decade, depending partly on what the dominant problem was at the time of the survey. Democrats held the advantage on this measure in early 2004, 2006, and 2007, for example, when the situation in Iraq was at the top of the "most important problem" list. Democrats continued to edge out the GOP in 2008 and 2009, when the economy became the most important problem. The two parties were close in 2010, with the economy dominating as the top problem. Republicans, however, have moved ahead in this year's September survey, in which Americans name jobs/unemployment as the top problem facing the country. Gallup

  • Biden Takes Responsibility For The State Of The Economy, Says 2012 Will Be A Referendum On President Obama’s Handling Of The Economy. Vice President Joe Biden told a South Florida radio station this morning that he and President Obama take responsibility for the state of the U.S. economy, knowing full well that the 2012 election appears to be a referendum on the issue. ... “What’s relevant is, we’re in charge.” ... Later, Biden acknowledged the president’s reelection bid was “understandably” shaping up to be a referendum on the administration’s handling of the economy. ABC News

The Obama Economy: Incomes Drop For The First Time In 2 Years. Incomes fell for the first time in nearly two years in August and consumers dug into their savings to keep spending, according to a government report that showed the impact of the weak jobs market. ... Income slipped 0.1 percent, the first decline since October 2009, with private wages and salaries dropping $12.2 billion after increasing $23.8 billion in July. Reuters

  • Consumer Comfort Drops To Its Second Lowest Level In History. Consumer confidence slumped last week to the second-lowest level on record as Americans grew more concerned with their financial situation and the buying climate worsened. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped to minus 53 in the period ended Sept. 25 from minus 52.1 the prior week. ... The comfort gauge showed the share of households saying it was a bad time to buy needed goods and services climbed to the highest level in three years, raising the risk that the biggest part of the economy will slow heading into the holiday shopping season. Bloomberg

Zuckerman – President Obama Is Playing Politics With The Economy. In addition to disagreeing with specific policies — most notably the 2009 stimulus package — Zuckerman says the President is "playing politics" with the economy, the very thing the White House claims the GOP is doing. "We must get out of this political game where you play politics with every issue," he says, chiding President Obama for scolding Congress during his recent speech on jobs and subsequently campaigning in the districts of House Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh). "This is politics to the death," he laments. Yahoo – The Daily Ticker


Committee Check

Chairman Issa: President Obama’s Regulatory Agenda Is Suffocating Job Creation and Innovation. Job creation stems from the innovators and entrepreneurs in our country. And while individual political figures can’t create jobs, the government they direct and the policies they advance can severely impede job creation in America. That’s what’s happening right now. ... Recently, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a report examining the devastating impact that federal regulations are having on our economy’s ability to maintain a steady pace of job creation. ... The bottom line is government isn’t the answer to our nation’s unemployment crisis, but it is the problem and it’s time to get government out of the way of our nation’s job creators. The report we recently released found that the Obama administration has created a regulatory environment that is suffocating the private sector’s ability to create jobs and grow businesses. In total, the administration has imposed 75 new major regulations costing more than $380 billion over 10 years. The San Diego Union-Tribune


Keeping Tabs

Chu Takes Responsibility For Loan Deal That Put More Taxpayer Money At Risk In Solyndra. Energy Secretary Steven Chu acknowledged Thursday making the final decision to allow a struggling solar company to continue receiving taxpayer money after it had technically defaulted on a $535 million federal loan guaranteed by his agency. ... Chu’s admission came as some members of Congress were asking whether Chu went too far in trying to help the company before it went into bankruptcy, leaving taxpayers on the hook for the loan. ... “Why was the leadership at DOE so stubborn, ignoring every warning sign that Solyndra was a bad bet, continuing to throw good money after bad right up until Solyndra’s fate was sealed and taxpayers were left holding the bag on DOE’s $535 million bust?” said Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce oversight and investigations subcommittee. The Washington Post


Off The Beaten Path

Tevatron atom smasher’s close ends era of big science – The Washington Post

Friday Flashback

What Monster – Behold the 245lb Catfish!
 





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