The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

Gas prices are rising rapidly. In Leader Cantor’s home town of Richmond the cost of fuel jumped to nearly $4 over the weekend. The Administration must stop the practice of picking winners and losers and commit to a comprehensive national energy policy. By slowing-walking domestic lease sales, failing to approve routine oil pipelines, and threatening higher costs on manufacturers and refineries, the Obama Administration has contributed to skyrocketing gas prices across the country. Energy producers need to see certainty and leadership from this President, so they can make the long term investments that will boost our domestic energy supply and reduce the pain at the pump. As Leader Cantor has said, “We need a definitive statement by this President that we will have a national energy policy, because it's critical to a growing economy.”

Today in History: In 1969, "The Love Bug," a Walt Disney movie about the adventures of a Volkswagen Beetle named Herbie, opened in theaters across the United States.

Birthdays: Senator Hoeven, William H. Macy, Molly Stanton, and Annabeth Gish

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …

State Of Play: The Administration Fails To Provide Relief For Americans At The Pump As Prices Continue To Rise

As Gas Prices Continue To Climb, President Obama’s Approval Rating Hits An All-Time Low. President Obama's approval rating has hit the lowest level ever in CBS News polling, according to the latest CBS News/New York Times survey. The drop may be partially attributable to rising gas prices. Just 41 percent of Americans approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing as president, according to the poll, conducted from March 7 to 11. Another 47 percent disapprove of his performance, up from 41 percent last month. CBS News

President Obama: The American People Want Me To Do Something About Gas Prices. A new poll out Monday finds two thirds of Americans disapprove of the way the president is handling gas prices. Gruca asked the president what he thinks about that. “I think that here's what we know -- When gas prices go up, people don't approve of them. Ultimately they would like to see the president do something,” he said. KVUE

54% Of Americans Believe President Obama Should Act On Gas Prices. The average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has jumped 12 cents over the past two weeks. The poll found that most Americans, 54 percent, believe gas prices are something a president can do a lot about. CBS News

Priorities? The White House Moves To Limit “Political Damage” Instead Of Enacting Pro-Growth Energy Solutions … The White House scrambled Monday to contain the political damage from rising gas prices, which have emerged as a primary threat to President Obama’s reelection. … But a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Monday suggested the effort is falling flat with voters upset about prices at the pump, which according to AAA are now averaging $3.80 per gallon — a 30-cent increase in the last month alone. The poll found that 65 percent of U.S. adults surveyed disapproved of Obama’s performance on gas prices, while 26 percent approved and 9 percent had no opinion. … Fuel costs are also hurting Obama’s standing on the economy, which is likely to be the top issue for voters come November. Fifty-nine percent disapproved of how Obama is handling the economy, up from 53 percent in the same poll from early February. The Hill

• The Administration Has Obstructed Domestic Energy Production, Reducing Supply, and Impacting Gas Prices By Limiting Drilling Permits and Delaying Exploration. A study by the business-consultant firm IHS found that the federal government issued 51 new drilling permits in the year following the lifting of the drilling moratorium. That was down from 157 annual permits approved before the regulations took effect. Federal regulators are also holding up drilling permits, forcing oil producers to wait an average of 80 days to begin exploration, compared with 16 days in the pre-moratorium era. The IHS study said the slow-down could prove costly for a president running on job creation and energy independence, estimating that easing the regulations could create as many as 230,000 jobs, as well as 150 million barrels of oil. Washington Free Beacon

… Meanwhile, Gas Prices Continue To Climb. The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas reached $3.80 on Monday, up from $3.77 a week ago and 6.8% higher than a year earlier. "It's killing me," Larry James, a 47-year-old Chicago taxi driver, said Monday as he filled up at a pump that read $4.499 a gallon, making it among the highest in the country. The increase has cut his average daily earnings to $50 a day from about $85 at the start of the year, he said. … In San Francisco, Dan Sullivan on Monday pulled into a station in the trendy Mission District where the price was $4.69 a gallon. The grand total: $76.07. "This is probably the highest number I've seen," said Mr. Sullivan, a 29-year-old software programmer in nearby Emeryville, Calif. The Wall Street Journal

State Of Play (2): More Excuses For Senate Majority Leader Reid On The JOBS Act

The Senate Democrat’s Latest Shell Game – Reid Falsely Claims The Senate Hasn’t Received The JOBS Act. The Senate is in session until the week of April 2. He also said the Senate had not yet received the House bill, which a spokesman for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) disputed. “The House sent the JOBS Act to the Senate last Thursday,” spokesman Michael Steel said in an e-mail. Politico

FACT CHECK: A Quick Search Of Thomas Shows The Senate Received The JOBS Act on March 8th.

Senator Schumer Said “Democrats Are Focused Like A Laser On Jobs,” If That’s True, Why Does Leader Reid Continue To Block 30 House-Passed Bipartisan Jobs Bills?

The JOBS Act Is A Win For Investors, Innovators, Small Businesses, Entrepreneurs and The Economy. Tucked inside the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act that passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support Friday are “crowdfunding” provisions that would relax federal restrictions that have been in place since the 1930’s effectively barring the non-wealthy from investing in startups. … Currently, federal securities law limits how, and from whom, startups can raise money. First, startups are prohibited from raising funds using the internet or broadcast media. Second, the pool of possible investors is limited to so-called “accredited investors,” who must have annual income of $200,000 ($300,000 for couples), or have a net worth of at least $1 million (not including the value of their home). Needless to say, this rule excludes the vast majority of Americans from being able to participate in startup investing. … Crowdfunding is clearly an idea whose time has come, one that has only been made possible by the network effect of the Internet. The fact that so many lawmakers recognize this bodes well for an untold number of entrepreneurs who will gain access to a vast new pool of investors if President Obama signs this legislation into law. Regulators, not to mention potential investors, must remain vigilant against fraud, but if the new legislation makes it easier for entrepreneurs to raise capital — while allowing ordinary investors to take small ownership stakes in fledgling companies — the real winner will be the U.S. economy. TIME

Obamanomics: President Obama’s Economic Agenda Continues To Restrain Economic Growth, Threaten Jobs

Regulation Nation: New Study Finds President Obama’s Regulatory Agenda Costs $46B A Year, Hurts Growth & Job Creation. Some 10,215 new federal regulations from the Obama administration are costing consumers, businesses and the economy overall $46 billion annually, more than five times the regulatory price tag of former President Bush in his first three years in office. Worse: just implementing those regulations had a one-time additional cost of $11 billion, according to a Heritage Foundation analysis provided to Washington Secrets. … The $46 billion price tag calculated by Heritage is staggering, as are those hitting the economy the hardest. Just consider the regulations tagged as “major” for costing $100 million or more. Obama’s team issued 106 on private industry since taking office, compared to 28 by Bush. Last year alone, Obama’s administration issued 32 major regulations impacting everything from clothes dryers, to toy labels. Heritage said that most expensive regulation of 2011 was from the Environmental Protection Agency, which added five major rules costing $4 billion. Among them, stricter limits on industrial and commercial boilers and incinerators, for a cost of $2.6 billion annually for compliance. The Washington Examiner

President Obama’s Battered Business Bureau – The Obama Administration Continues Its Regulatory Barrage. 64 new final rules were published last week, down from 89 the previous week. That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 38 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All in all, 653 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year. … The 9 economically significant rules published so far in 2012 cost at least $15.01 billion. Two of the rules do not have cost estimates. We assume that rules lacking this basic transparency measure cost the bare minimum of $100 million per year. The true cost is almost certainly higher. There were 10 significant actions this week, as defined by Executive Order 12866. For the second week in a row, none of them are “economically significant” final rules, meaning a cost $100 million or more per year. So far, 88 significant final rules have been published in 2012. So far this year, 110 final rules affect small businesses. 19 of them are significant rules. Open Market

President Obama Continues To Pick Winners and Losers, Pushing For Tax Increases That Will Put Americans Out Of Work. Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. summed it nicely when he commented earlier this month, "We get excited in this country when we talk about Apple. It's a great U.S. company. But ExxonMobil's a great U.S. company as well, and we seem very shy to talk about." … while the president applauds using taxes to save prolific job creators in one instance, he is trying to wield the tax code to punish an important U.S. industry in another. … Government modeling shows that just two of the president's desired tax increases would immediately eliminate 155,000 U.S. jobs in both the energy industry and related fields which benefit from their success like finance and healthcare. These job losses have costs. U.S. News

Keeping Tabs

By Working To Prevent Tax Increases On All Americans and Slowing President Obama’s Stimulus Style Spending, House Republicans Have Changed How Washington Works and Laid The Groundwork For A Sustained Economic Recovery. Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and their fellow House Republicans should claim credit for this jobs recovery. It never would have happened had they not stopped the counter-productive fiscal policies of the Obama Administration — starting with blocking the job killing increase in personal income tax rates that otherwise would have taken place on January 1, 2011, and then last fall refusing to vote for yet another round of wasteful “stimulus” spending and money losing investments in “green jobs.” … The improving jobs picture is consistent with a growing body of academic research that demonstrates increased government spending reduces, rather than increases, economic growth. Summarizing the research in his December, 2010 Wall Street Journal article Stanford Professor Michael Boskin wrote: “But economic theory, history and statistical studies reveal that more taxes and spending are more likely to harm than help the economy. Those who demand spending control and oppose tax hikes hold the intellectual high ground.” During that same period, private sector employment fell by 834,000. And, lest you think that all that “investment” in infrastructure and shovel ready jobs worked, employment in the construction sector alone fell by more than 900,000. Meanwhile, the non-provable claim by the advocates of Obamanomics, that the increased spending saved jobs, is belied by what has happened since the policy was stopped. Since August, federal employment has fallen by 26,000, but the rate of layoffs in state and local government has slowed by half. And, private sector employment has surged 1.3 million workers. Forbes

Reminder: President Obama’s “Irresponsible” Stimulus Style Spending Has Racked Up More Federal Debt Faster Than Any President In History. Here is how he put it at a campaign stop in Fargo, N.D.: “The way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 Presidents; number 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back. Thirty thousand dollars for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic.” … During President Bush's entire eight years in office, the national debt rose by $4.9 trillion, Gerraghty pointed out. This week, President Obama should surpass in a little more than three years the amount of new debt George W. Bush accumulated in eight. … Obama's supposed deficit reduction of $4 trillion is a smokescreen produced by tricky accounting. In reality, he increases the federal debt at a faster rate than any President in history. The Union Leader

GOP Health Care Reforms