The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning, 

This week the President moves West on the campaign trail, but instead of exploring new frontiers, Obama will repeat his tired plea for Americans to support his jobs bill. The only difference is this time instead of "pass my bill" it’s "we can't wait". Breaking news - we aren’t waiting. Since the beginning of this Congress, House Republicans have taken steps to return certainty to the private sector so we can begin to see jobs created, despite the Senate blocking our 15 bipartisan jobs bills. This week on the floor, the House will vote to repeal the onerous 3 percent withholding tax included in the President's plan – an unnecessary cost which prevents businesses from investing their capital in growth and hiring. We will also vote to spur domestic mineral exploration, which will allow for the creation of thousands of new jobs. House Republicans will continue to focus on policies that give everyone the opportunity to achieve success - and we agree that we cannot wait especially with millions of people out of a job. When the President returns from the campaign trail, we hope he will join us in this effort.

Today In History: In 1901, a 63-year-old schoolteacher named Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to take the plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Birthdays: Rep. Mary Bono Mack, The Big Bopper, Antonia Ferrier, Jonathan Weisman, Drake, and Neda Semnani

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ...

State Of Play: “We Can’t Wait” – The President’s Rhetoric Doesn’t Match Reality 

  • Rhetoric: President Obama Says America Can’t Wait For Economic Solutions. With his jobs plan stymied in Congress by Republican opposition, President Obama on Monday will begin a series of executive-branch actions to confront housing, education and other economic problems over the coming months, heralded by a new mantra: “We can’t wait” for lawmakers to act. The New York Times
  • Reality: Campaigner-In-Chief - The President’s Schedule Consists Of 3 Fundraisers & Only 1 Official Event. WEALTH CAMPAIGN: President Obama is hitting up the West Coast for cash three times on Monday, speaking at fundraisers in Las Vegas and in Los Angeles. In between it all, he'll be in official mode as he talks about his jobs bill and talks with homeowners at a separate event in Vegas. Politico

The Forgotten 15: Who’s Waiting? While President Obama has spent his time campaigning, the House has passed 15 bipartisan jobs bills that await action in the Senate.

State Of Play (2): Leader Cantor Calls For Embracing Policies That Move Everyone “Up The Ladder”

Leader Cantor: America Needs A “Steve Jobs Plan,” A Plan That Produces Goods Jobs; Services That Improve Lives; and Move Everyone Up The Ladder Of Success. There is a ladder of success in America,” Cantor wrote. “However, it is a ladder built not by Washington, but by hard work, responsibility and the initiative of the people of our country.” ... “There are politicians and others who want to demonize people that have earned success in certain sectors of our society,” he wrote. “They claim that these people have now made enough, and haven’t paid their fair share. But, pitting Americans against one another tends to deflate the aspirational spirit of our people and fade the American dream.” He added that Americans “goal shouldn’t be for everyone to meet in the middle of the ladder. We should want all people to be moving up and no one to be pulled down.” Cantor said the late Steve Jobs exemplified the notion that allowing small businesses to flourish would eventually bring widespread prosperity. “Through his example, you can see that America needs more than a jobs plan,” he wrote. “It needs a Steve Jobs plan. In a Steve Jobs Plan, those who are successful not only create good jobs and services that make our lives better, they also give back and help everyone move just a little bit further up the ladder and everybody wins.” Talking Points Memo

  • Cantor: We Must Give Everyone A Chance To Move Up. We Must Ensure The Solution To Wealth Disparity Is Wealth Mobility. As he has before, the Virginia Republican sought to distinguish between Obama’s call for wealthy Americans to pay their “fair share” and his own exhortation for Washington to ensure everyone has “a fair shot” at success. “Instead of talking about a fair share or spending time trying to push those at the top down, elected leaders in Washington should be trying to ensure that everyone has a fair shot and the opportunity to earn success up the ladder,” Cantor wrote. “The goal shouldn’t be for everyone to meet in the middle of the ladder. We should want all people to be moving up and no one to be pulled down. How do we do that? It cannot simply be about wealth redistribution. You don’t just take from the guy at the top to give to the guy at the bottom and expect our problems to be solved. “Instead, we must ensure fairness at every level,” he added. “We must ensure that those who abuse the rules are punished. We must ensure that the solution to wealth disparity is wealth mobility. We must give everyone the chance to move up. Stability plus mobility equals agility. In an agile economy and an agile society, people are climbing and succeeding.” The Hill

Freshman Focus: GOP Freshman Address Government Overreach, Failure For Senate Dems To Act On Bipartisan House-passed Bills

Rep. Robert Hurt Blasts Senate Democrats For Failing To Address “The Forgotten 15” House-passed Bipartisan Jobs Bills. Washington policies have not been supportive of business, he said, and have actually made job growth more difficult. "There is a culture in Washington that does not listen," he said. "They know better than the people back home. That's the level of arrogance that is truly amazing to behold. I can't tell you how frustrating that is." About 30 people attended the meeting, held at Ippy's, and they all received a list of all the bills related to reducing "unnecessary regulations" the House has passed that are now stuck in the Senate. Hurt blasted the Senate for its inaction. "They don't do their jobs," he said, "and we can't make them." Small businesses and small farms are the "lifeblood" of the national economy, he said, and they are being hit with regulations that stymie growth. Hurt used the example of a dairy farmer he talked with in Gretna who, because of the dry conditions, wanted to build a small pond on his land to store water to irrigate his cornfield. The Franklin News-Post

  • Rep. Cory Gardner Takes Aim At Regulatory Reach Of The Federal Government. It was as a young state legislator in Denver that Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) discovered the extent of the federal government’s reach. That eventually led him to run for Congress to scale it back. “I realized quickly at the [state] legislature that so much of what we were trying to do — out of an $18 [billion] to $19 billion state budget, half of it was federally funded — we were hamstrung by policies of the federal government,” Gardner said. “So to keep along that goal of economic opportunity and fostering and strengthening businesses in Colorado and making sure that our government had the freedom to do what it needed to do at the state level, I realized this is a place where we’ve got to start making those changes.” ... Gardner’s bill, the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act, limits the Environmental Protection Agency to six months in making air-permitting decisions on oil drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf. Currently such decisions can be delayed by deferring the ruling to an environmental appeals board. ... The bill passed the House on a 253-166 vote and has been placed on the Senate calendar. The Hill

Virginia: Entrepreneurs Criticize Federal Regulatory Inconsistencies, Call For Streamlining Regulations

Virginia Innovators Discuss How Federal Regulations Are Stifling Economic Growth & Job Creation. Several biotech business owners told Rep. Eric Cantor that federal regulations and incentives are often overlapping, mismatched and confusing. Cantor, the House majority leader and Republican from the 7th District, held a roundtable discussion with half a dozen business owners at the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park in Richmond this week. ... In a comment that has become common during this recession, several of the speakers talked about needing more consistency and less complexity in the federal rules that affect them. "We need to find ways to simplify some of these regulatory activities," said Paul Rocheleau of Cupron Inc. and Virginia Life Science Investments. Charles Valentine of Eastlight Renewable Ventures described "a complete mismatch of regulation and incentives" in federal energy policy. He would like to see a national energy policy that provides more simplicity and clarity for energy businesses. Eric Edwards of Intelliject Inc., a company working on new treatments for chronic and acute diseases, said patent reform and changes at the Food and Drug Administration would improve conditions for his company and make it easier to create new products. ... "It's all about consistency, it's all about knowing the unknown," Edwards said. The Free Lance-Star

  • Leader Cantor: President Obama & Democrats in Washington Have Failed To Show A Commitment To Job Creation and Entrepreneurial Activity. "The message I heard loud and clear is that somehow Washington needs to start getting it," Cantor said. "The people of Virginia and America need to be able to count on Washington. We have got to make the tax code simpler and lower for everybody." Cantor later told reporters that business owners "do feel that Washington has created a problem. "And these problems have not arisen overnight," he added. "This has been probably decades in the making. What came out loud and clear, people feel there's not a lot of clarity and there's not a signal of certainty coming from Washington that is committed to job creation and entrepreneurial activity." The Free Lance-Star

Pro-Growth: Reforming The Tax Code Can Lead To More Jobs, More Growth & More Revenue

Broadening The Base & Lowering Marginal Tax Rates Has A History Of Leading To Increased Entrepreneurial Activity and Small Business Expansion. The Tax Reform Act of 1986, enacted 25 years ago last Friday, showed how a tax reform that includes lower rates can change incentives in a way that grows the tax base and produces extra revenue. The 1986 agreement between President Ronald Reagan and House Speaker Tip O'Neill reduced the top marginal tax rate to 28% from 50%. A conservative Republican and a liberal Democrat could agree to a dramatic reduction in top rates because the legislation also eliminated a wide variety of tax loopholes. ... This dramatic increase in taxable income reflected three favorable effects of the lower marginal tax rates. The greater net reward for extra effort and extra risk-taking led to increases in earnings, in entrepreneurial activity, in the expansion of small businesses, etc. Lower marginal tax rates also caused individuals to shift some of their compensation from untaxed fringe benefits and other perquisites to taxable earnings. ... the experience after the 1986 tax reform implies that the combination of base broadening and rate reduction would raise revenue equal to about 4% of existing tax revenue. With personal income-tax revenue in 2011 of about $1 trillion, that 4% increase in net revenue would be $40 billion at the current level of taxable income, or more than $500 billion over the next 10 years. The Wall Street Journal

The Road Ahead: More and More Democrats Avoid President Obama

Democrats Across The Country Are Ducking President Obama. But already, as Obama’s most recent forays into battleground states indicate, there are growing signs that many Democratic politicians don’t want to get too close to him either. In trips to Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania — all states that he carried in 2008 — members of Congress were notably missing from the president’s side. Though none came out and said they were deliberately avoiding him, they didn’t have to: Dodging a presidential candidate who’s riding low in the polls is a time-honored political practice. ... when Obama visited Detroit recently — a city he won in 2008 with 74 percent of the vote —not a single member of the state’s congressional delegation showed up. Politico

Keeping Tabs

Former Obama Advisor Admits The Obama Administration Made A Major Policy Error On Housing. As It was a critical plan to jump-start the economy. President Obama pledged at the beginning of his term to boost the nation’s crippled housing market and help as many as 9 million homeowners avoid losing their homes to foreclosure. Nearly three years later, it hasn’t worked out. ... Peter Orszag, a former senior White House economic adviser, said the administration has underestimated how much the nation’s massive mortgage debts would weigh the economy down after the financial crisis. “A major policy error has been to put too little weight on the long, hard slog following a financial slump,” he said. “That leads you to being much less bold with housing.” ... To date, administration programs have permanently reduced the debt of just one tenth of 1 percent of underwater borrowers. The Washington Post

Larson To Take On Pelosi? By the end of 2012, Rep. John Larson is likely going to be out of a job — at least in leadership. The Connecticut Democrat, who is in his second and final term as Caucus chairman, said he is unsure what his next step might be, but in an interview, he did not rule out a play for Speaker or another top post. ... “Once you’re in leadership, particularly in a position like caucus chair, it’s tough to accept going back to being a rank-and-file Member,” a Democratic strategist said. “So Larson certainly has his eyes on moving up the ladder. But it’s a question of where does he go and who could he challenge?” Roll Call

GOP Health Care Reforms