The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

Tomorrow, House leaders will unveil the JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups), designed to boost our economy by restoring opportunities for America’s primary job creators – small businesses and entrepreneurs. As Roll Call wrote over the weekend, “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s forthcoming economic proposal designed to boost capital formation for small businesses will include a series of bills that carry broad bipartisan support” - including support from the White House, House and Senate Democrats and members of the business community who represent current or former startup companies. The JOBS Act represents an opportunity to work together and get something done to help startups and entrepreneurs get off the ground, create jobs and grow the economy.

Today In History: The first and final Grammy for Best Disco Recording was awarded on this day in 1980, for Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive."

Birthdays: Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Chelsea Clinton, Liz Taylor and Ralph Nader Yesterday: Levi Strauss, Fats Domino, and Johnny Cash

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …

State Of Play: House Leaders Prepare To Unveil JOBS ACT To Boost Small Business

Cantor, House GOP JOBS Act Will Include Bills By McCarthy, Fincher, McHenry, and Schweikert. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s forthcoming economic proposal designed to boost capital formation for small businesses will include a series of bills that carry broad bipartisan support, according to a partial summary of the legislation. The summary shows bills introduced by Republican Reps. Stephen Fincher (Tenn.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Patrick McHenry (N.C.) and David Schweikert (Ariz.) are part of the package, dubbed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act. Cantor is also crafting a 20 percent tax cut for small businesses. Roll Call

Details On Republican Efforts To Boost Small Business Growth With The JOBS Act: Cantor’s JOBS package includes H.R. 3606, a bill introduced by Fincher and reported out of the Financial Services Committee on Feb. 16 by a vote of 54-1. The bill would phase in financial reporting regulations over five years after a company’s initial public offering. “This temporary reprieve from costly regulations will allow smaller companies to go public sooner, which directly leads to more job creation within the company,” the summary says. … A second bill in Cantor’s proposal, introduced by McCarthy, would eliminate a regulatory ban on small businesses from advertising to solicit investors. That measure passed the House Nov. 3 by a vote of 413-11. The third bill in Cantor’s proposal, introduced by McHenry, eliminates restrictions on the type of investors who can provide equity capital to small businesses. Currently, regulations only permit “accredited” individuals to invest in some circumstances. The bill passed the House 407-17 on Nov. 3. … Cantor’s proposal also includes two bills introduced by Schweikert. The first, which passed the House Nov. 2 by a vote of 421-1, increases the threshold for a business to be required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission from $5 million to $50 million in amount of securities sold. The second, which was reported out of the Financial Services Committee in December by voice vote, would raise the threshold for a business to be required to register with the SEC from 500 shareholders to 1,000 shareholders. Roll Call

The Obama Premium: Americans Continue To Feel The Effects Of President Obama’s Failed Energy Strategy

Senator Thune: President Obama’s Energy Policies Threaten Our Domestic Production, Energy Security, and Jobs. President Barack Obama likes to take credit for this energy boom, but in reality, recent U.S. energy growth is largely a result of private-sector investment and policies put in place by his predecessors. The energy policies this president has adopted are jeopardizing the progress we have made, and if he continues them, the U.S. energy boom could soon be over. … Over the past three years, the president has systematically discouraged new energy exploration and development. His proposed five-year offshore lease plan sharply restricts the sale of leases for energy exploration and bans energy development on 97 percent of the available offshore areas. Since Obama issued his six-month deepwater moratorium in 2010, the number of permits issued for offshore energy development has declined a staggering 40 percent to 50 percent. … As a result of the president’s policies, energy production in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico is projected to decline. Energy production in Alaska is threatened to such an extent that the future viability of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, a vital source of domestic oil, is now in question. … The president is also restricting energy production on federal lands. While energy production from federal areas was relatively high in 2010 and 2011, almost all of that production was from leases issued before he entered office. Under the Obama administration, the issuance of new drilling leases and permits to drill on federal lands has declined by 44 percent and 39 percent, respectively. Politico

Schumer Calls On Saudi Arabia To Expand Oil Production, Continues To Block Action On Keystone, House-Passed Bipartisan Bills To Boost Domestic Energy Production. The United States should do more to encourage Saudi Arabia to boost its oil production to make up for lost Iranian oil, Senator Charles Schumer said on Sunday, urging renewed diplomacy as a way to ease the run-up in oil prices. "These skyrocketing fuel prices are directly linked to the global energy market” … "These market shifts are now hitting Americans at the pump, reverberating throughout the rest of our economy, and threatening our recovery," Schumer said. Reuters

• View The Bipartisan Pro-Growth Legislation The Republican-led House Has Sent To The Senate To Help Expand Domestic Energy Production HERE

Editorial: President Obama’s Wrong, There Are Direct Actions The President Can Take To Lower Gas Prices and It Starts With Opening Up American Resources. All of the snippets will be addressed in this space in coming days, but for now, the president is just flat wrong about those silver bullets. His predecessor pulled the trigger on one on July 15, 2008, by lifting an executive branch moratorium on oil and gas exploration and development in the Outer Continental Shelf regions off America's coasts. Literally within minutes, the price-per-barrel of oil on the world market plunged from just below its historic high of $149 to $136, a 6.3 percent decrease. Bush also challenged the then-Democratic Congress to lift a parallel legislative moratorium on the same areas. Examiner contributor and economist Larry Kudlow described what happened next in a column the following day: "Traders took a look at a feisty and aggressive George Bush and started selling the market well before a single new drop of oil has been lifted. What does this tell us? Well, if Congress moves to seal the deal, oil prices will probably keep on falling. That's the way traders work. They discount the future. Psychology and expectations can turn on a dime." … In other words, Obama has doubled the bureaucratic delays on drilling permits, which ultimately adds to the price of gas at the pump. … As with so much that Obama says, his claims sound good, but he is playing fast and loose with the facts in order to steal credit he doesn't deserve and avoid blame that ought to be his. The Washington Examiner

ObamaCare Update: Majority Of Americans Define ObamaCare As A Bad Thing, View President Obama’s Individual Mandate As Unconstitutional

A Clear Majority Of Americans Believe ObamaCare Is A “Bad Thing.” The health care overhaul that President Obama intended to be the signature achievement of his first term instead has become a significant problem in his bid for a second one, uniting Republicans in opposition and eroding his standing among independents. … In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of the nation's dozen top battleground states, a clear majority of registered voters call the bill's passage "a bad thing" and support its repeal if a Republican wins the White House in November. Two years after he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act— and as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments about its constitutionality next month — the president has failed to convince most Americans that it was the right thing to do. … Voters in swing states stand overwhelmingly on one side of the debate: Three of four voters, including a majority of Democrats and of liberals, say the law is unconstitutional. USA Today

72% Of Americans Believe ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate Is Unconstitutional. However, 72 percent of Americans believe the individual mandate in the health care reform package is unconstitutional, while 20 percent believe it is constitutional. Politico

The President’s “Most Significant Legislative Achievement” Has Failed To Garner Public Support and Is Viewed As A “Bad Thing” By The Majority Of Americans. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 law has been arguably President Obama's most significant legislative achievement to date. Yet Americans have not shown clear majority support for it, before or after its passage. Gallup


Editorial: It’s Clear That President Obama’s Failed Stimulus Is Riddled With Kickbacks, Faulty Job Reporting, and Debt. With the recent marking of the third anniversary of the first federal stimulus bill’s passage, it’s hard to argue that taxpayers got their $800 billion worth. If anything, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — passed along party lines, with the aid of all sorts of side deals and kickbacks to woo holdout lawmakers — ultimately might have delayed and extended the pain of the recession by providing only short-term and inefficient fixes to a much-larger economic problem, while significantly increasing the nation’s burden of debt. … Despite all the promises of transparency, there were problems with the full disclosure and oversight of stimulus funds from the outset. Grabell reminds us that the website was slow to get going, and was delayed in reporting details of expenditures; there were far fewer “ shovel ready” projects poised to create jobs than initially promised; and the “saved and created” method of reporting jobs supposedly tied to the stimulus was quickly recognized as a sham, overreporting job numbers or including jobs that never were in danger. No matter to the stimulus backers: they just moved the goal posts. When critics questioned the “ saved and created” job numbers, they just changed the terminology to the number of jobs “supported” by stimulus investments. … Today, saddled with an ever-ballooning debt and a national unemployment rate that has remained above 8 percent — and is much worse if one takes into account the number of people who simply have given up trying to find a job or are underemployed — the absurdity of the argument for the stimulus is apparent to the majority of Americans who continue to be faced with tough choices in their own household budgets. The Columbus Dispatch

Another Stimulus Recipient Lays Off Workers. An electric car battery company reportedly has laid off 125 employees since receiving $390 million in government subsidies, but is still handing out big pay raises to company executives. A123 systems, which was touted as a stimulus "success story" by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich., had a net loss of $172 million through the first three quarters of 2011… Fox News


Growth and Innovation: Tumblr Finds A Second Home In Richmond. Just more than four years ago, Marc LaFountain discovered a new passion: an Internet startup called Tumblr that combined blogging with social networking. That passion — along with a well-timed email — took LaFountain on a journey from part-time employee at the New York-based microblogging platform firm to vice president of tech-support where he supervises the company's office in Richmond. The company now has 30 employees here, up from four when the office opened in January 2011. The company, which allows users to easily share posts, photos, videos, songs and more from a number of devices, plans to hire more local workers as it grows in popularity. … Tumblr's local office is an eclectic mix of backgrounds and ages, not offices filled with 20-something digital natives, LaFountain said. "We have people who have just graduated college all the way up through people who are in their 50s and early 60s," he said. "We've got a fascinatingly diverse staff." That mix of ages and experience is what makes working for Tumblr special, LaFountain said. "It's really about what you are and what you can bring to the table," he said. "It's not about your age, it's not about your appearance. It is about your intelligence, it is about your abilities." … Because of its large creative population, the Richmond region was one of the first areas in the country to embrace Tumblr, LaFountain said. "Tumblr was a platform that creative people gravitated to very, very early," he said. "By the time we had opened up an office here, it had really mushroomed." Richmond Times-Dispatch

Small Business Success: Virginia Lawn Pro Growing Steadily. Rose bought the assets of Virginia Lawn Pro in August 2011 from a business broker at what now is Transact AOCP Inc. in Chesterfield County. Virginia Lawn Pro provides year-round landscaping, lawn care and related services for commercial and estate properties. The company handles everything from tree care and custom landscape design and installation to grounds management services and the installation and service of irrigation systems. "We are committed to being a silent partner in our clients' efforts to manage their grounds," Rose said. "One thing I have learned in seven months is that there are three things that make this business run: great people, good equipment and strong support. I can only provide two of those myself." He sees similarities in the clothing and landscaping industries. "You are providing a service and expertise that buyers don't necessarily have but know they need," he said. "They want excellent service at a fair price." When Rose bought Virginia Lawn Pro, it had about 14 commercial clients and one residential estate client. "We now have 18 commercial clients, and we've added two more estates," he said. Richmond Times-Dispatch

Keeping Tabs

Americans Support Lower Taxes As A Means For Economic Growth. Three-quarters of likely voters believe the nation’s top earners should pay lower, not higher, tax rates, according to a new poll for The Hill. The big majority opted for a lower tax bill when asked to choose specific rates; precisely 75 percent said the right level for top earners was 30 percent or below. The current rate for top earners is 35 percent. Only 4 percent thought it was appropriate to take 40 percent, which is approximately the level that President Obama is seeking from January 2013 onward. The Hill Poll also found that 73 percent of likely voters believe corporations should pay a lower rate than the current 35 percent, as both the White House and Republicans push plans to lower rates. The Hill

GOP Health Care Reforms