Over the weekend, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel published an interview by student journalist Justin Stern with Leader Cantor. “I had rarely – if ever – seen any conservative politician in anything but a red tie, red being the uniform color of the right. As I realized, though, Mr. Cantor’s choice of tie color is reflective of his bipartisanship in both his political and personal life … I wanted to start singing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones, but I restrained myself. I liked his answer. I was beginning to like him more and more than the image that has been portrayed of him in the mainstream media. He’s typically shown in an uptight position next to fellow Republicans. But in reality, he’s a laid back man who’s respectful of other peoples’ points of view.” To read Justin’s entire interview with Leader Cantor click here.
Today In History: In 1933, with the stirring notes of the William Tell Overture and a shout of "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!" The Lone Ranger debuted on Detroit's WXYZ radio station. The creation of station-owner George Trendle and writer Fran Striker, the "masked rider of the plains" became one of the most popular and enduring western heroes of the 20th century.
Birthdays: Rep. Frank Wolf, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Vice President Dick Cheney, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Christian Bale, and Gene Hackman Yesterday: President William McKinley, Oprah, and Tom Selleck
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …
State Of Play: President Obama’s Economic Policies Continue To Fail Small Businesses
Leader Cantor: We Need To Be Focused On Removing Roadblocks and Growing Small Businesses. “This is an economy that’s languishing and what we need to try and do is focus on the small businesses, the entrepreneurs and investors that can produce returns and make strides in any industry, whether it be renewables or any other sort of industry that investors feel is the best use of their capital. Instead of Washington trying to design a system of winners and losers, we ought to be promoting free enterprise and an equal playing field. … This country was founded upon hard work and a promise that if you work hard and play by the rules you can get ahead. The situation now is adversarial to business growth and we should be hyper-focused on growing a culture of start-ups and businesses. We need to roll back overly burdensome regulations which are just disincentives for investors, and we need those investors to grow the economy.” The Sun-Sentinel
• President Obama’s Failed Economic Policies Made 2011 A Year To Forget For Small Businesses. Small business produces half of our private GDP (nongovernment), employs more than half of the private workforce, and creates two-thirds of the net new jobs over the long haul. It's a crucial sector for the economy's future prospects. … In December, only 10 percent of the owners thought the current period was a good time to expand their businesses substantially. That was just a two-point gain over the year and well below values we typically see in an expansion, now 2 1/2 years old. … All this will be the undercurrent for the presidential race that will dominate the news until the end of the year. As economist Joel Naroff summed it up: "The economy is moving forward but the recovery remains mired in the muck of uncertain households and businesses and restrictive fiscal policy that may get worse." The Philadelphia Inquirer
In Order To Foster The Next Era Of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, President Obama Must Get On Board With Republicans’ Pro-Growth, Pro-Innovation Policies. In In January 1912, the United States emerged from a two-year recession. Nineteen more followed—along with a century of phenomenal economic growth. Americans in real terms are 700% wealthier today. In hindsight it seems obvious that emerging technologies circa 1912—electrification, telephony, the dawn of the automobile age, the invention of stainless steel and the radio amplifier—would foster such growth. Yet even knowledgeable contemporary observers failed to grasp their transformational power. In January 2012, we sit again on the cusp of three grand technological transformations with the potential to rival that of the past century. All find their epicenters in America: big data, smart manufacturing and the wireless revolution. …. What should our politicians do to help usher in this new era of entrepreneurial growth? Liquid financial markets, sensible tax and immigration policy, and balanced regulations will allow the next boom to flourish. But the essential fuel is innovation. The promise resides in the tectonic technological shifts under way. The Wall Street Journal
• View The House Republican Plan To Boost Small Business Growth HERE
State Of Play (2): President Obama Proposes To Spend Even More Money That We Don’t Have
President Obama’s State Of The Union Was “Washington-Speak For Spend Money.” The phrase "invest in our future," we regret to report, is Washington-speak for "spend money." And in the current fiscal context, that means "spend money we don't have." … What part of "fiscal crisis" does the administration not understand? On Friday, the federal debt ceiling was raised by $1.2 trillion, bringing it to a staggering $16.394 trillion — double what it was in 2005. And it's going to keep rising in the years to come. … When you are that deep in the hole, you need to focus on eliminating expenditures, not adding them. … If the president wants to boost expenditures in one nondefense program, he should pay for it by reducing it in another. Better yet, he should cut $2 or $3 in nondefense programs for every $1 in new nondefense spending. The excuse that we are "investing" in the future has been used way too often to excuse fiscal bloat. The best investment in our future is to lighten the burdens that will fall on the taxpayers of tomorrow. … Obama says he wants to foster the long-term health of the economy. But it looks as though Washington's habit of living beyond its means is built to last. The Chicago Tribune
If President Obama Stopped Throwing Hundreds Of Millions Dollars At Unproven Technology, He Wouldn’t Have To Target America’s Real Job Creators To Cover His Losses. President Obama keeps pushing the (Warren) Buffett rule that nobody making more than $1 million a year should pay less than 30% in taxes. He'd do better by the economy if he adopted a Solyndra Rule, in which no company touting unproven and expensive technology should receive millions in taxpayer subsidies. After the demise of Solyndra (with its $535 million loan guarantee) and Beacon Power ($43 million loan guarantee), last week saw the bankruptcy of Indiana-based lithium-ion battery maker Ener1. … Like Solyndra, Ener1 was a foolhardy bet for taxpayer cash. Founded in 2002, Ener1 had not turned a profit by the time of its grant and has proceeded to hemorrhage the $55 million of the DOE money it has received to date. Its losses in fiscal 2010 were $165 million. … In last week's speech, he defended his taxpayer "investments" in private commercial companies, noting that "some technologies don't pan out, some companies fail." He would know. Though perhaps if Mr. Obama weren't throwing hundreds of millions down the green sinkhole, he wouldn't have to target the nation's real job creators for higher taxes to foot his losses. The Wall Street Journal
State Of Play (3): When Will Senator Reid and Senator Schumer Stop Stalling The 27 House-Passed Bipartisan Jobs?
Speaker Boehner: It’s Time For The Senate To Do Its Job and Act On The 27 House-Passed Bipartisan Jobs Bills. Boehner, R-Ohio, went on to say that the House has done its part to help the economy and said “it’s time for the Senate to do their job.” “We have passed 30 bills in the House that would help get our economy moving again,” he said. “Twenty-seven of them are sitting over in the United States Senate.” National Journal
• View The List Of House-Passed Bipartisan Jobs Bills Senator Reid Refuses To Act On HERE
The Road Ahead: House Republicans Prepare To Move On Infrastructure, Domestic Energy Expansion Bill
House Republicans Move The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act. House Republicans will begin moving legislation this week that would fund infrastructure reforms with revenue generated from expanded oil-and-gas drilling. … The House Natural Resources Committee is expected to approve three bills Wednesday that make up the drilling component of the package. The infrastructure and drilling package is a top priority for Boehner, who has vowed to bring the legislation to the House floor quickly. … The bills would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling require oil-and-gas leasing off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts while removing restrictions in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and require commercial leasing for oil shale projects in Western states. The Hill
Speaker Boehner: Republicans Will Include Keystone In The American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act If It Hasn’t Been Enacted Yet. Republicans have since been looking for a vehicle to resurrect the $7 billion project, and Boehner said that would be a House Republican energy and highway bill. "If (Keystone) is not enacted before we take up the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, it will be part of it," Boehner said on ABC's "This Week" news program. Reuters
• President Obama’s Decision To Say No To Over 100,000 Jobs Was A Political Decision. “Now that the president has decided for political reasons that we’re not going to move ahead just yet, not until after the election… we’re going to have to find another way to lean on the Senate, to take this issue up, because the Keystone pipeline will create … over 100,000 indirect jobs,” Boehner told me on “This Week.” “This is the epitome of a shovel-ready job project that the president ought to be approving,” Boehner added. ”And if he won’t, then let’s let the Congress approve it.” ABC News
President Obama: The Most Polarizing President Ever. President Obama ran — and won — in 2008 on the idea of uniting the country. But, each of his first three years in office have marked historic highs in political polarization, with Democrats largely approving of him and Republicans deeply disapproving. For 2011, Obama’s third year in office, an average of 80 percent of Democrats approved of the job he was doing in Gallup tracking polls, as compared to 12 percent of Republicans who felt the same way. That’s a 68-point partisan gap, the highest for any president’s third year in office — ever. (The previous high was George W. Bush in 2007, when he had a 59 percent difference in job approval ratings.) In 2010, the partisan gap between how Obama was viewed by Democrats versus Republicans stood at 68 percent; in 2009, it was 65 percent. Both were the highest marks ever for a president’s second and first years in office, respectively. The Washington Post