The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

House Republicans are focused on boosting small business growth by reducing tax and regulatory burdens that are hindering growth and job creation. As the Washington Times writes today, “Small business has taken a beating in this brutal economy. Combine the developed world's highest corporate tax rate with the constant stream of new regulation flowing from the Obama administration, and it's no wonder the economy is stalled. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor wants to provide some relief so the backbone of our economy can start hiring and investing again.”

Today In History: The Miracle On Ice: In 1980, the U.S. men’s hockey team pulls off one of the biggest upsets in sports history with a 4-3 victory over the heavily favored Soviet Union at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. Two days later, the Americans went on to beat Finland and take home the gold medal.

Birthdays: George Washington, Ted Kennedy, Sparky Anderson, Dr. J, Drew Barrymore, Steve Irwin and Jeri Ryan

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …

State Of Play: Leader Cantor, House GOP Focus On Job Creation, Jumpstarting Small Business Growth

Leader Cantor Spearheads Effort To Jumpstart Economic Growth With The JOBS Act and 20% Small Business Tax Cut. The Virginia Republican is drafting legislation that would allow companies with 500 or fewer employees to take a deduction equal to 20 percent of their income before paying the standard tax rates on the remainder. The deduction would also be available to firms that file as individuals, as most small companies do. Mr. Cantor is planning a floor vote near Tax Day. … "The president has consistently taken a position that he wants to increase taxes on small business people. And we know the numbers - 50 percent of those impacted by his proposal for higher taxes are small-business people," Mr. Cantor said. "If we want to create jobs, we shouldn't be taxing small-business men and women, we should be helping them." … In the coming weeks, Mr. Cantor will also bring to the floor a package of bills easing access to capital for startups. Thanks to Sarbanes-Oxley red tape, the cost of a company going public has shot up to $2.5 million - beyond the reach of many small businesses. The House bill includes a measure to provide an "IPO on-ramp" by easing Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulatory requirements for five years or unless the company is worth $1 billion. It would also lift SEC restrictions against small business use of "crowdfunding," which refers to raising capital from a large pool of small investors. Though Mr. Obama and House Democrats support the measures, the Senate has failed to act. The Washington Times

Cantor, House GOP Challenge Senate Democrats To Get On Board To Benefit Small Business. Republicans, for their part, questioned why the White House was celebrating yet another temporary extension of a tax cut, with the unemployment rate higher than when Mr. Obama pushed through his economic stimulus in 2009 and the federal debt breaking records. … Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, noted that Republicans, led by Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the majority leader, were ready to package together several bills that would benefit small businesses, and he challenged Democrats in the Senate to support them. The New York Times

Cantor: It’s Up To Harry Reid If He Wants To Be An Obstructionist Or An Ally In The Bipartisan Effort To Boost Small Business. Mr. Cantor said he's hopeful that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, will schedule a vote in the upper chamber for both bills. "It's up to Harry Reid whether he's going to be an obstructionist or actually join the bipartisan effort to help small businesses," said the House leader. To help create jobs and boost all our finances, any tax and regulation barriers stalling small-business growth must be removed. The Washington Times

If President Obama Is Serious, There Is A Real Opportunity To Work Together To Create Jobs. President Barack Obama is urging Congress to “keep going” and work on more measures to help the nation’s economy after lawmakers agreed to extend the payroll tax cut. Obama says lawmakers should act on measures to help homeowners pay their mortgages and assist small businesses. … A spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told me, “If only the President’s record matched his rhetoric, but alas, his policies have failed to create the jobs promised, fix our economy, or begin getting the fiscal house in order. Simply put, he has ignored the biggest challenges that hardworking taxpayers face. President Obama will have an opportunity to put his money where his mouth is in March, by supporting the bipartisan JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) and Leader Cantor’s 20% tax cut for small businesses to create jobs.” The Washington Post

The Tax Man Cometh: President Obama’s Budget Triples The Tax Rate On Corporate Dividends

Another Major Tax Hike Uncovered In The President’s Budget. President Obama Plans President Obama's 2013 budget is the gift that keeps on giving—to government. One buried surprise is his proposal to triple the tax rate on corporate dividends, which believe it or not is higher than in his previous budgets. Mr. Obama is proposing to raise the dividend tax rate to the higher personal income tax rate of 39.6% that will kick in next year. Add in the planned phase-out of deductions and exemptions, and the rate hits 41%. Then add the 3.8% investment tax surcharge in ObamaCare, and the new dividend tax rate in 2013 would be 44.8%—nearly three times today's 15% rate. The Wall Street Journal

President Obama’s Plan To Triple The Tax Rate Will Affect Nearly Every American Family, But Hurts Retirees and Those Nearing Retirement The Most. An American Economic Association study by University of California at Berkeley economists Raj Chetty and Emmanuel Saez examined dividend payouts by firms and concluded that "the tax reform played a significant role in the [2003 and 2004] increase in dividend payouts." They also found that the incentive for firms to pay dividends rather than sit on cash helped "reshuffle" capital from lower growth firms to "ventures with greater expected value," thus increasing capital-market efficiency. If you reverse the policy, you reverse the incentives. The tripling of the dividend tax will have a dampening effect on these payments. Who would get hurt? IRS data show that retirees and near-retirees who depend on dividend income would be hit especially hard. Almost three of four dividend payments go to those over the age of 55, and more than half go to those older than 65, according to IRS data. But all American shareholders would lose. … Seldom has there been a clearer example of a policy that is supposed to soak the rich but will drench almost all American families. The Wall Street Journal

Regulatory Row: Majority Of Americans Believe Federal Regulations Have An Overall Negative Impact On Small Business

Over 60% Of Americans Believe Federal Regulations Do More Harm Than Good To Small Business: More than six in 10 respondents also thought that federal regulations are causing more harm than help for small businesses, and around 70 percent had a negative response to a group of more than 200 economically significant regulations. … The poll comes as government regulations continue to be a prominent topic in Washington, as policymakers look to boost the economy in this election year. Republicans in particular have said that lessening the regulatory burden on businesses would give the economy a jolt, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said over the weekend that House Republicans would look in the coming weeks to roll back certain regulations. … A New York Times poll from last fall also found that half of Americans thought it would be a good idea to roll back regulations in order to create jobs, and Gallup reported this month that almost half of small businesses that aren’t hiring cited rules and regulations as one of their impediments. The Hill

75% Of Americans Say There Are Too Many Regulations Pending Regulations As Well. The poll for the National Federation of Independent Business, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill, found that roughly three out of four registered voters thought there were too many pending regulations. … Former Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who is working with NFIB on a campaign to ease the regulatory burden on small businesses, said the poll showed the public thought that not only were there too many government regulations, but that new rules were coming too swiftly as well. “The proof is in the pudding,” Lincoln told The Hill. “There is no doubt that people do negatively react in large numbers to 4,200 new regulations in the pipeline.” The Hill

Keeping Tabs

The Obama Administration Brushes Off Concerns Over Rising Gas Prices As “Media Hysteria.” The administration officials brushed off the brewing political storm over rising gas prices as an annual affair bolstered by media hysteria. They said the White House anticipated the current spike in gas prices, which they attribute to increased demand around the world, particularly from China. The Wall Street Journal

Flashback: Remember When Now Energy Secretary Chu Said We Need To Boost Gas Prices To European Levels? Can Steven Chu have a do-over? President Barack Obama’s Energy secretary unwittingly created a durable GOP talking point in September 2008 when he talked to The Wall Street Journal about the benefits of having gasoline prices rise over 15 years to encourage energy efficiency. “Somehow,” Chu said, “we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Politico

VIDEO Flashback 2007 – Pelosi On Rising Gas Prices …. If $3.05 a gallon is a total failure, what does $3.59 a gallon equal? The Right Sphere

GOP Health Care Reforms