The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

Small businesses are the key to job creation, but as a new Gallup poll shows right now 85 percent of small businesses cannot hire because of the current economic environment. Forty-eight percent of small business owners place the blame squarely on ObamaCare, citing the onslaught of new regulations and costs as the greatest hindrance to expansion and job creation. That’s why House Republicans will continue to work to repeal this harmful law, and replace it with common-sense, patient-centered solutions that lower costs and increase access to care. This is part of our larger effort to create an economy built to grow, where small business have the confidence to invest, hire and expand. Leader Cantor has proposed a 20 percent tax deduction for every small business, to help them retain and create new jobs, so we can get the economy growing again. We hope the President and Congressional Democrats will join us to help our nation's small businesses to grow and hire.

Today In History: In 1998, after two decades of trying, stock-car racing great Dale Earnhardt finally wins his first Daytona 500, NASCAR’s premier event.

Birthdays: Chris Farley, Jane Seymour, Susan B. Anthony and Matt Groening

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …

State Of Play: Nearly Half Of Small Businesses Say They Aren’t Hiring Because Of ObamaCare and The President’s Regulatory Agenda

Small Business Owners Cite Health Care Costs, Government Regulation As Major Impediments To Job Creation and Growth. Additionally, nearly half of small-business owners point to potential healthcare costs (48%) and government regulations (46%) as reasons. One in four are not hiring because they worry they may not be in business in 12 months. … Although some small businesses in selected industries and markets have been growing, the weak economy of the past four years has limited overall small-business growth. … Given this difficult operating environment, it is not surprising that many small-business owners also worry about potential new healthcare costs and government regulations. While small businesses are always finding ways to deal with their changing operating environment, including government regulations and healthcare, these added challenges can be seen as exacerbating an already uncertain and difficult situation. In turn, they become additional reasons to hold back on hiring. Gallup

Gallup: A Regulatory Moratorium Could Provide The Boost Small Business Owners Need To Start Hiring and Get The Economy Growing At A Pace Resembling A Recovery. Congress can't do much in the immediate term to significantly improve small-business revenues and growth. However, lawmakers could place a moratorium on new regulations for some period of time. In turn, this might provide the extra push needed to get small-business owners to decide to hire the employees they actually need and get the economy growing at a pace the average American can recognize as an economic recovery. Gallup

Two-Thirds of Small Business Owners Fret Over The State Of the Economy. An overwhelming majority of small-business owners surveyed, 85 percent, indicated that they are currently not looking for new workers. Asked why, 48 percent of those not hiring said it was due to concerns about possible rising health care costs, while 46 percent said they were worried about new government regulations. Other concerns include … worries about the current state of the U.S. economy, 66 percent; and worries about cash flow or the ability to make payroll, 53 percent. Politico

Jim Cramer: Every CEO I Deal With Is Worried About ObamaCare's Negative Impact On The Economy, Jobs. “What I’m telling you, business leaders fear [Obamacare] more than anything. They don’t want to hire … People have to recognize that this is a front and center issue for every CEO I deal with and another reason why they don’t want to hire here and they want to hire there. … That’s a major debate for the economy.” National Review

State Of Play (2): House Republicans Craft A Payroll Deal Preventing A Tax Hike On Any American

Republicans Take The Lead On Payroll, Layout Framework That Ensures 160 Million Working Americans Don’t Have Their Taxes Increased. A tentative deal reached by senior House and Senate leaders, which appears poised to pass absent a last-minute snag, would prolong a payroll tax cut that benefits 160 million Americans, extend unemployment benefits and forestall rate cuts to doctors who treat Medicare patients. Under the plan, a 2 percentage point payroll tax cut would be extended until the end of the year — and the $100 billion cost would be added to the deficit. Unemployment benefits would be extended for the next 10 months and doctors who treat Medicare physicians would avoid seeing their payments cut. Those two provisions would cost about $50 billion and be paid for with cuts elsewhere in the federal budget. Politico

Republicans Stop Democrats From Raising Taxes On Any American In Payroll Deal. There are no tax increases in the package. USA Today

Republicans Negotiate Unemployment Insurance Reform. On unemployment benefits, which will cost about $30 billion, Democrats were forced into a choice to hit the federal workforce: either another pay freeze or a requirement that workers contribute more to their pension plans. the two sides reached a tentative plan to reform unemployment benefits, reducing the maximum time frame to benefit from the jobless insurance program to 73 weeks in the states with the hardest-hit economies. The Washington Post

The Economy: President Obama’s Budget Doesn’t Live Up To What The President Promised, Fails Get Spending Under Control

President Obama’s Budget Fails To Live Up To The President’s Own Pledge To Get Spending Under Control and Cut The Deficit In Half. Monday, the president proposed a budget that forecasts the deficit for fiscal year 2012 will top $1.3 trillion, before falling in 2013 to a still-whopping $901 billion, still 5.5 percent of gross domestic product. Yes, by 2022 the deficit is forecast to fall to a "mere" $704 billion, a hypothetical 2.8 percent of GDP. But given that this budget is close to a work of fantasy even for 2012 -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid won't expose the 14 Democratic senators now up for re-election to the political repercussions of voting on it -- making promises about 2022, long after Mr. Obama will be out of office, verges on the absurd. The best thing about this spending draft is that Mr. Obama does not pretend that he and his fellow Democrats are anything but what they are -- big spenders on a scale never before seen in history. … This despite the fact that, at his "fiscal responsibility summit" in 2009, Mr. Obama pledged to "cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office" by making "difficult decisions ... that we've long neglected" -- specifically, by "getting our spending under control." The Las Vegas Review-Journal

Editorial: Comedy Or Disaster? President Obama's Unreal Budget. If President Obama's new budget were a movie, it would be very difficult to find at your favorite video rental location. Some clerks would stock it under “comedies,” others under “horror,” others under “disaster.” We would vote for the horror category for the simple reason that disasters of this magnitude quickly take on all the gory characteristics of the most frightening horror films, and this one is all the more disturbing for having the ability to happen in real life. Just how bad is Obama's proposed budget? Even left-of-center commentators are trashing it. Take this quote from Washington Post writer Dana Millbank: “The White House's budget for fiscal 2013 begins with a broken promise, adds some phony policy assumptions, throws in a few rosy forecasts and omits all kinds of painful decisions. Even then, the proposal would add $1 trillion more to the national debt than Obama contemplated a few months ago. ...” The Union Leader

Rep. Diane Black and Rep. Tim Griffin: President Obama’s Budget Ignores Reality. Another year, another budget from President Barack Obama that ignores reality. Instead of presenting a governing document that will bring our country back to a path of fiscal solvency, Obama’s 2013 budget is nothing more than a campaign stump speech bolstered by more spending, higher taxes and no viable plan to combat our staggering national debt. The White House says this budget will mean $4 trillion in savings over the next decade—but that’s a result of gimmicks and accounting tricks. Roughly $2 trillion have already been enacted, while Obama counts $1 trillion from money that would never be spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as savings. The White House also takes $1.2 trillion of cuts from last summer’s Budget Control Act, and replaced them with tax hikes — calling this additional savings. … House Republicans, with the push from our freshman class, are working to ensure that Washington permanently spends less through spending cuts and structural reforms. We have changed the conversation from “How much can you spend?” to “How much can you cut?” … The president’s budget is, unfortunately, bringing us closer, not further away from our own European-style debt crisis. The United States still has time to escape this future. But only if we address our debt now. Politico

Senate Democrats Distance Themselves From The President’s Budget. In the Senate, Jon Tester (Mont.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.), two Democrats who represent states where Obama is struggling, said Obama’s proposal had fallen short of what was necessary to rein in federal debt. “Unfortunately, this budget still includes unacceptable deficit levels, and I’m ready to work with Democrats and Republicans alike to tackle this problem,” McCaskill said. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has kept quiet on the budget, declining to give it the full-throated praise that Democratic leaders in the House have poured onto the proposal. Reid isn’t up for reelection in November, but his fragile hold over Democratic control of the Senate is certainly up in the air. The Hill

Nearly 60% Of Americans Give President Obama A Thumbs Down On His Approach To The Federal Deficit. More people said they disapproved of Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy, 50 percent, than said they approved, 44 percent. And he received poor marks on his handling of the federal budget deficit, with 59 percent of poll respondents expressing disapproval. The New York Times

Keeping Tabs

Did Harry Reid Put The STOCK Act On The Back Burner? “I had a meeting yesterday on that,” Reid said Tuesday of the bill to bar insider trading by members of Congress. “It’s just this other stuff that’s taking precedent over that now.” Politico

GOP Health Care Reforms