Tonight, the President returns to Congress to deliver his State of the Union address with a year’s worth of failed policies and broken promises behind him. Despite President Obama’s pledge last year to add private sector jobs and grow the economy, his policies have done the opposite. They’ve raised taxes and regulatory burdens on small businesses, led to long-term high unemployment, and failed to spur job creation. It’s time for a new approach and real change. Hardworking taxpayers and small businesses need pro-growth policies that restore confidence, growth and get the economy back on track. And the President and his party need to stop playing political games and work with us to produce results for middle class families and small businesses.
Today in History: Canned beer makes its debut in 1935. In partnership with the American Can Company, the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company delivered 2,000 cans of Krueger's Finest Beer and Krueger's Cream Ale to faithful Krueger drinkers in Richmond, Virginia.
Birthdays: Neil Diamond, Aaron Neville, Warren Zevon, Tatyana M Ali and John Belushi
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …
State Of Play: President Obama’s Policies Have Not Worked To Get The Economy Going
Leader Cantor: I Would Like To Hear The President Acknowledge His Policies Have Made The Economy Even More Lackluster. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) told reporters on Monday that he hopes to hear Obama admit that his policies, in regards to the economy, aren't working. "I certainly would like to hear from him that there's a recognition the policies in place have made this economy more lackluster," Cantor said. Cantor says the GOP majority in the House will focus on oversight this year, calling hearings to address examples of when "the administration has failed to provide the leadership that I think most people expect." Cantor mentioned Solyndra as a prime example of the administration's political miscues that they expect to go after in the coming year, but would not elaborate on any additional examples of what they may decide to investigate. NBC’s First Read
Chairman Ryan: We’ve Heard This Rhetoric Before and Look At The Results We’re Getting. "The rhetoric just doesn't quite meet the substance, and that's our concern," Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said on CBS This Morning. Mr. Obama plans to lay out his vision for the country in the remarks, which amount to major campaign speech for the president seeking another four years in power. Ryan said Mr. Obama would lay out promises of what he hopes to do because "I don't think the president can run on his record, it's not good." … Ryan said the speech is just talk. "It's going to be a very political speech. We've heard the same kind of rhetoric before and look at the kind of results we're getting," Ryan said. CBS
FLASHBACK: In His 2010 State Of The Union Address, President Obama Touted How Solyndra Would Employ Thousands Of People. “You can see the results of last year’s investments in clean energy – in the North Carolina company that will create 1,200 jobs nationwide helping to make advanced batteries; or in the California business that will put a thousand people to work making solar panels.” President Barack Obama
• NOW: Last Week, A Bankrupt Solyndra, That Still Owes Taxpayers Over $500 Million, Was Caught Destroying Brand New Parts. After filing for bankruptcy last year, Fremont solar company Solyndra still owes American taxpayers half a billion dollars. But CBS 5 caught them destroying millions of dollars worth of parts. At Solyndra’s sprawling complex in Fremont, workers in white jumpsuits were unwrapping brand new glass tubes used in solar panels last week. They are the latest, most cutting-edge solar technology, and they are being thrown into dumpsters. KCBS
FLASHBACK: In His 2009 Join Address To Congress, President Obama Repeated His Pledge To “Cut The Deficit In Half “ By The End Of His First Term In Office.
• NOW: President Obama’s Reckless Spending Has Led To The Three Largest Deficits In U.S. History. The U.S budget deficit for fiscal year 2011 is $1.299 trillion, the second largest shortfall in history. The nation only ran a larger deficit for the 2009 fiscal year, which included the dramatic collapse of financial markets and a huge bailout effort by the government. The nation's deficit that year was $1.412 trillion. This year's deficit is slightly higher than fiscal year 2010, when the nation ran a $1.293 trillion deficit. Fiscal years run through Sept. 30. The Hill
Sen. Sessions: It’s Time For President Obama To Show Fiscal Courage and Deliver A Budget That Addresses The Long-Term Debt and Restores Confidence To The Private Sector. For the past three years, President Obama's almost exclusive focus has been on government spending and government-funded jobs— resulting in greater government debt. We are facing a fourth straight deficit in excess of a trillion dollars and a national debt that is larger than our entire economy. But this surge in spending did not yield the promised results: 1.5 million more Americans are out of work since the president took the oath of office, and more Americans suffer from long-term unemployment than at any point since the Great Depression. Yet the president has consistently opposed those measures that would lead to sustained job growth. Most recently, he blocked construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that would have provided true relief to middle-class Americans through high-paying jobs in the private sector. If the president wants, as he says, to be a "warrior for the middle class," then he must finally draw up the courage to deliver a long-term budget plan that tackles our debt, restores confidence and unburdens the private sector. Otherwise, the government will continue to grow and the middle class will continue to shrink. USA Today
State Of Play (2): 1,000 Days Without A Budget From Senate Democrats Is A Failure Of Governance
Rep. Sandy Adams: 1,000 Days Later, Still No Budget From Senate Democrats. Could you imagine not doing a family budget for 1,000 days, or businesses going that long without one? As irresponsible as that might seem, today marks 1,000 days since the U.S. Senate has passed a budget. The last time it passed a budget, you had never heard of the iPad. The U.S. was still able to put astronauts into outer space. And the national debt was $4 trillion smaller than it is today. In the real world, the notion of not passing a budget is unimaginable. Families could go into debt and be forced into foreclosure, businesses would be unable to pay their employees or continue operating. So why is it that the Senate hasn't passed a budget? Harry Reid The previous Democrat-led Congress had ample time to do so. With President Obama in the White House, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi had the power to implement any budget they chose. Unfortunately, they punted on their responsibilities, choosing to pass legislation creating a national energy tax and an unpopular health-care law instead. The Orlando Sentinel
Rep. Jason Chaffetz: It’s Time For Senator Reid To Give Up His Wednesday Night Bingo Game and Get Back To Work. It has been 1,000 days since the Senate has produced a budget, and congressional Republicans are getting fed up. … “This is irresponsible and misguided,” said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., a member of the House Budget Committee, “When confronted with a future of debt, doubt, and despair, our Democrat colleagues in the Senate have clearly taken a ‘what, me worry?’ attitude. It is time for full accountability and real responsibility.” “Harry Reid needs to give up the Wednesday night bingo game and get back to work,” added Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, another House Budget Committee member. The Weekly Standard
Virginia: Pro-Growth Policies Are Paying Dividends For Virginia
Richmond Based CarMax To Add Nearly 1,000 Jobs Nationwide. Automotive retailer CarMax Inc. is adding nearly 1,000 employees nationwide, including 46 at its corporate offices in Goochland County and 11 at its two area stores. … CarMax will hire four for its Chesterfield County store on Midlothian Turnpike and seven for its Henrico County store on West Broad Street. Those jobs will be sales and service positions. The 46 corporate jobs will be in several departments, including information technology, marketing, accounting and strategy. … The company has opened four stores in the first nine months of the fiscal year that ends Feb. 29. It expects to open 10 superstores by the end of February 2013 and between 10 and 15 in each of the next three fiscal years. Richmond Times-Dispatch
No Bull: Virginia Ups Exports To Russia. Gov. Bob McDonnell today announced that the first ever direct export of Virginia Holstein bulls to Russia has been completed. Vistar Farms of Mechanicsville, working in partnership with Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services international marketing staff, arranged the export shipment to the Russian port city of Novorossiysk. Financial details of the initial sale were private, but the export deal is significant as it marks Virginia’s entry into Russia’s growing market for cattle and genetics imports. … Agriculture and forestry are Virginia’s largest industries, with a combined economic impact of $79 billion annually: $55 billion from agriculture and $24 billion from forestry. The industries also provide approximately 500,000 jobs in the Commonwealth according to the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia. The Augusta Free Press
11 Stunning Revelations From Larry Summers’s Secret Economics Memo To Barack Obama. A lengthy piece in The New Yorker looks at policymaking in the Obama White House. A key source for writer Ryan Lizza is a 57-page, “Sensitive & Confidential” memo written by economist Larry Summers—eventually to be head of Obama’s National Economic Council—to Obama in December 2008. Here’s some of what I learned about Team Obama’s thinking as the financial crisis was exploding, followed by quotes from the memo itself: The Enterprise Blog
Case Study Illinois: Raising Taxes Isn’t The Answer. As David Vaught unwittingly attests, lawmakers continue to spend too much of other people's money. Quinn's office now expects this fiscal year's supposedly balanced budget to finish $507 million in the red. That's right, even with $7 billion a year in new revenue from their tax hikes, this crowd still can't balance a budget. … Worst of all, perhaps, the Democrats' tax increases are stifling the economic growth that would boost those revenues. With their votes, they made Illinois an even higher-cost state for job creators. The tax hikers trust that, in the 2012 election cycle, you won't notice that their assurances of 2011 have fallen flat. The Chicago Tribune