The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

Since the beginning of the year, Leader Cantor has said that what has historically set our country apart is that, ‘no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, everyone’s got a fair shot, not guaranteed success.” Today in Kansas, President Obama is expected to use similar words when he calls for policies where, “everyone engages in fair play, everyone does their fair share, and everyone gets a fair shot.” Similar words; very different message. Republicans want everyone to have a fair shot at earning their success, but the President is calling for equality of outcomes, tax increases and sweeping changes that will put Washington in charge of determining opportunity.

Today in History: On this day in 1884, in Washington, D.C., workers placed a nine-inch aluminum pyramid atop a tower of white marble, completing the construction of an impressive monument to the city's namesake and the nation's first president, George Washington. Made of some 36,000 blocks of marble and granite stacked 555 feet in the air, the Washington Monument was the tallest structure in the world at the time of its completion in December 1884.

Birthdays: Dave Brubeck, Andrew Cuomo, Satoru Iwata, Craig Newmark, Judd Apatow and Bill Greene

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …

State Of Play: President Obama Heads To Kansas To Promote Government Is The Answer

Majority Leader Cantor On Leveling The Playing Field For All Americans and Providing Equal Opportunity So That All Individuals Can Earn Their Own Success.

February 24, 2011 “We have a choice to make today about the future of our country. In order to protect our way of life, the choice we must make is about changing course, and renewing our commitment to what makes America unique: innovation, creative thinking, problem solving, entrepreneurship, individual liberty and economic freedom. Our renewed focus must be driven by the sense that we have a limitless future in America and every one of us has a fair shot at earning success.”

April 18, 2011 “In America, you may be talking to the union worker in Philadelphia, the retired state employee in Sacramento or the working Mom in a small town in Kansas. All of them come from different places and different backgrounds. But each of them rely upon a simple and implicit guarantee – that the deck won’t be stacked against them in America. That they’ll have a fair shot and the opportunity to succeed. And we must work hard to make sure the American fair shot is here for us in this room, and for our children.”

October 31, 2011 – “So, 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. 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.”

November 15, 2011 – “Now there are people saying simply, take more from those at the top and give more to those at the bottom and we can fix our problems. Well I am one who believes that simple redistribution of wealth is not going to fix the problem.”

State Of Play (2): Yesterday, President Obama Challenged Congress To Keep Their Word – Here’s An Ongoing Look At The President’s Record On Keeping His Own Word

Obama Care Promise: President Obama, July 16, 2009 – “First of all, if you’ve got health insurance, you like your doctors, you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan.”

The Reality: November 2011: IRS Warns Health Care Law Will Leave Millions Of Families Without Health Care Coverage. President Obama's health care law will leave millions of families without affordable coverage unless tax officials rewrite the rules on who gets subsidies, advocates warned Thursday. The Hill

  • Senate Democrats Admit The President’s Health Care Law May Cost American Farmers Their Insurance The Hill

Deficit Promise: Bloomberg, February 21, 2009 – “President Barack Obama Plans To Cut The U.S. Budget Deficit To $533 Billion By The End Of His First Term …”

The Reality: President Obama's 2011 Budget Deficit Same As 2010, $1.3 Trillion. The federal budget deficit held steady at $1.3 trillion in 2011 -- adding another $1.3 trillion to the $14.7 trillion national debt. USA Today

o President Obama Has Added Over $4.4 Trillion To The National Debt Since Taking Office U.S. Treasury

Be Sure To Follow @CantorPress Throughout The Day To Find More Examples Of President Obama Breaking His Promises

State Of Play (3): Senate Democrats’ Top Priority Isn’t Finding Bipartisan Solutions, It’s Raising Taxes

The Latest Democrat Proposal ( Like Its Predecessors) Includes A Tax Hike On Small Business Job Creators. But the Democrats’ latest proposal, worth $185 billion, would still be paid for in part by a new surtax on those making more than $1 million a year, the same plan that doomed earlier efforts. The Washington Post

Senate Democrats Have Attempted To Raise Taxes On Small Business 5 Times In The Last 2 Months. The New York Times

Senate Democrats Continually Trying To Raise Taxes On Small Businesses Shows They Are Again Aiming To Fail. "This proposal moves in the right direction,'' an aide to House GOP leaders said of the new Democratic proposal, "but the inclusion of the small-business tax hike [the millionaires tax] is a poison pill that shows Senate Democrats are aiming to fail—so President Obama can attack Republicans." The Wall Street Journal

Obamanomics: President Obama’s Economic Agenda Is Causing More Americans To Become Discouraged and Drop Out Of The Workforce

Gallup: The Sharp Decline In The Unemployment Rate Was More Of A Negative Than A Positive Sign For The Economy. Job market conditions in the United States were flat in November, as Gallup's Job Creation Index remained at +14, similar to the range seen since May. This is another indication that Friday's sharp drop to 8.6% in the government's U.S. unemployment rate may be overstated. … Digging into the government's unemployment data shows that the size of the U.S. workforce declined by 405,000 in November, while the number of employed Americans increased by 83,000 on an unadjusted basis … Further, it may be that the sharp decline in the U.S. unemployment rate last month was more of a negative than a positive sign for the U.S. economy. The sharp decline in the workforce last month may be more of a reflection of the large number of Americans who have given up looking for work -- as a result of the length and depth of the jobs recession -- than of any improvement in job market conditions. Gallup

Regulation Row

The EPA’s Overzealous Regulatory Agenda Is Endangering The Reliability and Integrity Of The Power Grid. According to the report, "the nation's power grid will be stressed in ways never before experienced" and reliability depends on building new power plants to cover the losses. But the electric industry has only three years to comply under one EPA regulation known as the utility rule that is meant to target mercury and is due to be finalized soon, while many other destructive rules are in the works. … Southern Co., the utility that covers states from Mississippi to Georgia, says the EPA's timeline can't be met "at any cost" and that in its region "reliability cannot be maintained without load shedding"—that is, rationing power to large industrial consumers. American Electric Power, which operates in 11 Midwest states, says that option may be a "last resort" as well. This is the kind of political overhang that harms economic growth. Keep in mind that the EPA estimates that the benefits to society from the mercury reductions in the utility rule max out at $6.1 million, total, while imposing $11 billion in compliance costs annually. That is a crazy tradeoff even if it didn't endanger the electric grid. The best option would be to kill the utility rule and put the EPA on probation, but second best is a longer phase-in to give utilities more time to comply. FERC could do some practical good by formally issuing a "215 finding" that the EPA utility rule endangers reliability. Or the White House budget and regulatory office could require the EPA to repropose the rule with more flexibility. Or President Obama could declare that the rule endangers national security. Or Congress could block the rule, though that would take more fortitude than Senate Democrats have shown so far. None of this is likely to happen because it would interfere with the larger Administration priority to kill as much coal power as rapidly as possible to serve the global warming agenda. But when the brownouts and cost-spikes occur, don't blame the utilities. Blame their regulator. The Wall Street Journal

NFIB: The Torrent Of Regulations Coming Out Of Washington Is Stifling Small Business Growth and Investment. We can't have a strong economy unless our small businesses are doing well — and right now they're not doing well. They're hurting. The recession may be over, but according to the National Federation of Independent Business' latest Small-Business Optimism Index, the outlook among small-business owners is still grim. Owners say their No. 1 concern is still "poor sales," followed by crushing government regulations and taxes. Small businesses can lead our recovery from the Great Recession, but they aren't going to hire new employees if they're worried about keeping the lights on. They aren't going to expand or add locations if they're worried about the torrent of new regulations coming out of Washington or a health care package that's going to jack up costs without doing much to increase competition and improve access to affordable coverage. Richmond-Times Dispatch

Follow Up: Cement Industry Praises Bipartisan Action By The House To Create and Protect American Jobs, Calls On Senate To Do The Same. October's bipartisan passage of “Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act of 2011” (H.R. 2681) by the U.S. House of Representatives was overwhelmingly called a triumph by construction industry leaders. A year-long effort to reform what they believed would be job-killing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations on the U.S. cement industry came to a head with legislation that seeks to replace harsh new federal rules with commonsense environmental safeguards. Introduced by Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK) and Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR), along with a bipartisan group of their colleagues, the legislation requires EPA to re-propose three recent environmental rules directed at the portland cement industry. Although domestic cement manufacturers are among the most highly regulated enterprises in the country, they recently faced an avalanche of new regulations. … Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) introduced a companion bill in last month. “Passage of this legislation allows the industry to continue its dialogue with EPA with the goal of crafting rational and feasible emission standards,” Brian McCarthy, president and CEO of Portland Cement Association said. … A recent study found that one of these regulations alone, NESHAP, will force the closure of approximately 18 of the United States’ nearly 100 cement manufacturing plants. The production volume lost by these closures will require cement to be sourced from other countries, thereby exporting thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs and importing cement from countries with emissions standards much weaker than those already in place in the U.S. Cement Americas

Committee Check

Chairman Ryan, House Budget Committee To Unveil Budget Reform Proposals. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and members of his committee will unveil a series of reforms on Wednesday to change the congressional budget process. The set of ten bills will strengthen borrowing and spending caps, curb automatic spending and put more government liabilities on the books, a Budget Committee aide said Monday. “The incentives currently favor those who seek to increase government spending, and the result is a crushing burden of debt that is hurting economic growth today and threatening economic prosperity tomorrow,” the aide said in an email. … Another is sponsored by Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.). That bill is designed to prevent government shutdowns when appropriations bills run out. Instead it imposes an across-the-board 1 percent cut to all funding if Congress fails to agree on a budget. Other bills in the series will be similar to The Spending, Deficit, and Debt Control Act of 2009, which Ryan co-sponsored with Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). It set goals for reducing entitlement spending and put the U.S. on biennial budgets. The Hill

GOP Health Care Reforms