The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

Today, Chairman Ryan unveiled the House Republican budget that details our vision of how we will get our fiscal house in order and grow the economy. Our budget cuts government spending, protects funding for our troops, includes pro-growth tax reform to get small businesses hiring again, and strengthens health and retirement security for our nation’s seniors. In sharp contrast, the President’s budget puts up roadblocks to economic growth and prosperity by pushing for tax hikes and government spending that will burden small businesses and working families. As Chairman Ryan wrote in the Wall Street Journal today, “The contrast with our budget couldn't be clearer: We put our trust in citizens, not government. Our budget returns power to individuals, families and communities. It draws inspiration from the Founders' belief that all people are born with an unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness.”

Today In History: In Ripon, Wisconsin, the Republican Party was founded in 1854.

Birthdays: Kathy Ireland, Bobby Orr, Pat Riley, Mr. Rogers, Holly Hunter and Spike Lee

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …

State Of Play: House Republicans Unveil A Serious Budget Designed To Increase Economic Opportunity, Spur Job Creation and Manage Down The Massive Debt

Rep. Paul Ryan: The GOP Budget and America's Future. Absent reform, government programs designed in the middle of the 20th century cannot fulfill their promises in the 21st century. It is a mathematical and demographic impossibility. And we said so. … Courageous Democrats have joined our efforts. And bipartisan opposition to the path of broken promises is growing. And so Tuesday, House Republicans are introducing a new Path to Prosperity budget that builds on what we've achieved. Like last year, our budget delivers real spending discipline. It does this not through indiscriminate cuts that endanger our military, but by ending the epidemic of crony politics and government overreach that has weakened confidence in the nation's institutions and its economy. And it strengthens the safety net by returning power to the states, which are in the best position to tailor assistance to their specific populations. … our budget tackles this crisis head-on by cutting debt as a share of the economy by roughly 15% over the next decade, putting the nation's finances on a path to balance, and paying off the debt. By contrast, the president's budget pushes debt as a share of the economy even higher. In his budget's own words, it allows the government's fiscal position to "gradually deteriorate" after 2022. The Wall Street Journal

Two Futures: The House GOP Budget Draws A Clear Contrast With President Obama. The president's budget gives more power to unelected bureaucrats, takes more from hard-working taxpayers to fuel the expansion of government, and commits our nation to a future of debt and decline. The contrast with our budget couldn't be clearer: We put our trust in citizens, not government. Our budget returns power to individuals, families and communities. It draws inspiration from the Founders' belief that all people are born with an unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness. Protecting this right means trusting citizens, not nameless government officials, to decide what is in their best interests and make the right choice about our nation's future. The Wall Street Journal

VIDEO From House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan – The Path to Prosperity Budget: Your Country. Your Future. Your Choice. – Watch It HERE

In Just Over 3 Years President Obama Has Increased The Debt By More Than 8 Years Of The Bush Presidency. The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama's three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency. The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office. The latest posting from the Bureau of Public Debt at the Treasury Department shows the National Debt now stands at $15.566 trillion. It was $10.626 trillion on President Bush's last day in office, which coincided with President Obama's first day. The National Debt also now exceeds 100% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product, the total value of goods and services. CBS News

State Of Play (2): Senate Democrats Stall Vote On JOBS Act

Senate Democrats Play “Legislative Three-Card Monte” With The JOBS Act While Startups and Small Businesses Demand Results. The JOBS Act — for Jumpstart Our Business Startups — passed the House by a 390-23 vote, shockingly lopsided in these divided times. Obama, mostly frustrated in battling with Congress over job creation, endorsed the House bill. “Here’s a chance not only to help entrepreneurs build their businesses and create jobs, but to show that we can work together around here to get things done on a bipartisan basis,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday. Birds chirped and music played, right up to the point that Reid’s Democrats decided to throw on the brakes to extract political advantage. … while Senate Democrats play legislative three-card monte — insisting on voting on a substitute version that has no chance at the needed 60 votes — small businesses here in the hinterlands wait and wonder if Congress will ever get its act together. The Dallas Morning News

Senate Democrats Promote False Investor Protection Argument To Stall The Bipartisan JOBS Act. House Republicans focused on modest reforms that would help the economy by making it easier for companies to raise capital, reinvigorate initial public offerings and make U.S. markets more competitive. They reached across the aisle to include proposals from Democrats. They drew in the White House—and 232 Republicans and 158 Democrats. But now that the bill is headed for the Senate floor, a chunk of the Beltway elite is refusing to support even this modest regulatory reform. The SEC's flatfeet can't stop Allen Stanford or Bernie Madoff, but they want everyone to believe they're needed to look over the shoulder of the next Mark Zuckerberg even long before he files for an IPO. … the Jobs Act doesn't change SEC antifraud measures, the Spitzer global investment bank settlement or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's rules on conflict of interest. … Democrats would like to pretend that the fall-off in IPOs has nothing to do with regulation. But entrepreneurs tell a different story, pointing to the costs of Sarbox and Dodd-Frank, the reduction in research on small and mid-cap companies that the Spitzer settlement wrought, and heightened competition from abroad. What the opposition to the bill really shows is Washington's continuing hostility to risk-taking and capital creation. Regulators and liberals claim to want more jobs and growth, but not if it means taking their hands off the economy's financial choke points. They're afraid someone might make a buck without their say-so. This is what sends IPOs overseas and has produced the slowest recovery since the Great Depression. The Wall Street Journal

Review The Investor Protections Contained In The JOBS Act HERE– Courtesy of The House Financial Services Committee

ObamaCare: No Fanfare From The West Wing As The Two-Year Anniversary Of President Obama’s “Landmark” Legislation Approaches

On Offense: Republican Mount A Coordinated Effort Against ObamaCare. Republicans on Capitol Hill have put together a highly coordinated two-week renewed assault on the health care law, seizing on the legislation’s second anniversary and the next week’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court concerning its constitutionality. On Monday, Congressional Republicans took to the floor of both chambers to denounce the law, presaging a vote in the House this week to dismantle the law’s payment advisory board, the 26th legislative attack on the law in the Republican-controlled House in the 112th Congress. Daily news conferences are planned on the Hill next week, featuring state attorneys general, lawmakers who are physicians and others. Republican members are also holding sessions on Twitter, making videos and scheduling television interviews day and night … The New York Times

Telling – President Obama Has No Plans To Mark Two-Year Anniversary Of ObamaCare. President Obama has no plans to mark the two-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act’s passage, according to CNN Radio reporter Lisa Desjardins: ICYMI: WH officials tells CNN that President Obama has *no* plans to mark the two-yr anniversary of his health care law passing. An ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday found Americans oppose the law overall by 52 percent to 41 percent; 67 percent believe the Supreme Court should either strike the entire law or the mandate that requires Americans to buy health insurance. Washington Free Beacon

White House Acknowledges ObamaCare Is Not The Job Creator Democrats Once Touted It To Be. Friday marks the second anniversary of Obama signing his health care reform bill into law, which Vice President Joe Biden was famously caught calling a "big (bleeping) deal" at the ceremonial event that day. White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Monday it's unclear what will be on the president's schedule this Friday, but he's looking beyond past battles. "He is focused on a forward agenda right now, and working with Congress and doing the things he can through executive action to grow the economy and create jobs," Carney said. Fox News

Flashback: Nancy Pelosi – ObamaCare Will Create 4 Million Jobs. CNN

The White House, and Congressional Democrats Are On Defense … Here’s Just A Sample Of Why:

67% Of Americans Say The Supreme Court Should Strike Down ObamaCare Or The Individual Mandate At A Minimum. This ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that Americans oppose the law overall by 52-41 percent. And 67 percent believe the high court should either ditch the law or at least the portion that requires nearly all Americans to have coverage. ABC News

64% Of Americans Believe ObamaCare Will NOT Lower Health Care Costs For Individuals, Businesses and The Federal Government. YG Policy

71% Of Americans Believe ObamaCare Will Add To The Deficit. YG Policy

56% Believe ObamaCare Will Lead To Doctor Shortages, Rationed Care, Or Lowered Quality Of Care. YG Policy

Former AMA Head: IPAB Must Be Repealed Now. As the letter rightly points out, IPAB will essentially mean rationed care for our nation’s seniors. The 15 officials who will make up the board will not only be empowered to make what is expected to be billions of dollars’ worth of cuts to Medicare every year, but will be required to do so when spending exceeds targeted rates. IPAB’s recommended cuts will become law unless a supermajority in Congress vetoes the board’s proposal and creates its own cost-cutting proposal of equal size — an unlikely scenario even in the most harmonious of political times. … While this form of rationing would most certainly be harmful to patients who need dependable doctors, a far worse form of rationing could be close behind. For example, IPAB may eventually be allowed to resort to Great Britain’s chosen rationing methods and refuse to provide certain effective treatments to patients who need them based on costs and patients’ remaining “quality adjusted life years.” Though the law currently forbids IPAB from engaging in such behavior, there is little reason to believe these rules won’t be changed — or at least stretched — down the road as costs continue to balloon and political dynamics change. The Daily Caller

The Road Ahead: Senate Democrats Introduce A Bill To Raise Gas Prices Past Already Record Highs

Gas Prices Hit Record Highs For The Month Of March. The average price of a gallon of regular is now $3.87, the highest recorded price in March. The average price is up nearly 4 cents from a week ago, and over 30 cents from a year ago, according to the Department of Energy, as more drivers face gas prices of $4 a gallon or more across the country. ABC News

Rising Fuel Costs Rock Small Businesses, Increase Unemployment. Steady escalating gas prices have been devastating for our small business. Our efforts to contain costs and pass on some of those expenses to clients proved fruitless, and we have seen profits erode. As a result, we recently were forced to lay off some of our long-time staff and move into a smaller building. … As a result of being unable to pass on costs to our clients, we had to make the hardest decision of our lives in opting to lay off several long- term, quality and loyal staff members. That was particularly tough because we pride ourselves on our employees. Our average employee retention has been 17 years. Contributing to the unemployment rolls is painful to me personally and as a responsible business owner and citizen of this great country. But as an entrepreneur, you reach a point when very tough decisions must be made in order to save the company. … our small company has personally taken a large hit due to the ever rising costs of fuel. And unfortunately there is nothing more we can do about it. The Washington Post

Democrats Introduce Bill To Raise Taxes On Energy Produces, Increase Gas Prices. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced a bill Monday eliminating incentives for the big companies and using revenue to help renewable energy sources — a senior Senate GOP aide told POLITICO. A Menendez spokeswoman confirmed he is the lead sponsor, but said more details would not be available until Tuesday. … Last year's Democratic bill in the Senate fell to a filibuster amid opposition from Republicans and oil-state Democrats. That 52-48 vote saw party switching from three opposing Democrats, Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mark Begich of Alaska, and two supporting Republicans, Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine. Sixty votes were needed to pass. Obama has highlighted the need to eliminate the industry incentives and has been calling on Congress to take up the cause in recent high-profile energy speech. Politico

President Obama and Senate Democrats Proposal To Raise Taxes On Energy Producers Will Lead To Even Higher Prices At The Pump. The Congressional Research Service has determined that raising taxes on energy produces will “make oil and natural gas more expensive for U.S. consumers and likely increase foreign dependence.” CRS Report

Keeping Tabs

It’s Been 40 Days Since the House Sent The STOCK Act To Senator Reid – When Will The Senate Act? A bipartisan bill on insider trading that had been steamrolling through Congress has ground to a halt. The Senate and House last month overwhelmingly approved different versions of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle predicted some version of the bill would reach President Obama’s desk swiftly. … House Republican leaders, who scrapped that part of the legislation, say it’s up to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to make a decision of whether to go to conference or pass the House-passed version. Reid, meanwhile, isn’t saying much. The Hill

GOP Health Care Reforms