The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

Yesterday, Leader Cantor introduced the Small Business Tax Cut Act which will put more money into the hands of small business owners so they can invest in their businesses and create more jobs. Our 20% tax cut has broad support from the small business community, and gives Congress the opportunity to provide immediate relief to our nation’s small businesses. As Leader Cantor said, “This bill is a common sense measure. We should all be able to rally around the cause of small businesses. This is a small business tax cut bill that goes right to the heart of job creation in our country.”

Today In History: In 1894, the first championship series for Lord Stanley’s Cup is played in Montreal, Canada. The Stanley Cup has since become one of the most cherished and recognized trophies in sports.

Birthdays: Rep. Pete Sessions, Reese Witherspoon, Bob Costas, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and William Shatner

Here is in today’s Ledger …

State Of Play: Cantor, House GOP Unveil 20%Small Biz Tax Cut

Leader Cantor, House Republicans Unveil 20% Tax Cut For Small Businesses. The GOP bill was introduced Wednesday by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., who has been spearheading a campaign to brush up the Republican tax-cutting brand with measures aimed at helping small businesses and promoting job creation. The measure would allow businesses with fewer than 500 employees to reduce their profit subject to taxation by 20 percent in the 2012 tax year at a cost to the Treasury of $45.9 billion over 10 years. “If our goal is to get the economy moving, we’ve got to help small businesses,” Cantor said at a press conference in front of the Capitol. … Republicans said Wednesday they still want a permanent overhaul of the tax code, with lower tax rates and fewer credits and deductions, but say small businesses need immediate assistance. “We are laying out a vision for tax reform,” Cantor said. “But in the interim, while we try to grapple with the very difficult issues around comprehensive tax reform, we need to help businesses.” CQ

VIDEO: Leader Cantor Announces Small Business Tax Cut Act of 2012

What They Are Saying - See What A 20% Tax Cut Mean To Small Businessmen and Women … it means JOBS

Details: The Small Business Tax Cut Act is a simple, clear solution to help small businessmen and women grow their businesses and hire new workers. The Small Business Tax Cut Act will allow small businesses with fewer than 500 employees to take a tax deduction equal to 20% of their active business income, irrespective of how the small business is organized. Our 20% small business tax cut goes straight to the bottom line so small business owners can retain more capital, invest in their businesses and create more jobs. Read more HERE


Committee Check: Small Biz Committee Holds Hearing On Removing Regulatory Burdens Preventing Small Business and Start Up Job Creation

Small Business Entrepreneurs Describe The Need For Smart Regulation, Explain That Additional and Unnecessary Regulations Hurt Small Business. Heath Hall, the president of Washington D.C.-based Pork Barrel BBQ, a barbecue sauce maker founded in 2008, acknowledged that both consumer and investor protections are necessary, but added that "every extra regulation, requirement or delay that government imposes is a burden" on new small businesses."The problem in my view is that there is no effective safeguard in the system to make sure that regulations are written and enforced in a way that minimizes the burden on honest, well-intentioned small-business entrepreneurs," Mr. Hall said. The Wall Street Journal

Chairman Graves: Republicans Are Focused On Removing The Obstacles To Small Business Job Creation. Still, the climate for business creation remains extraordinarily difficult, according to Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.), and more policy changes are needed to help entrepreneurs start companies, especially those with the potential to grow quickly and create jobs. “The trend in entrepreneurship is up, but an entrepreneur’s ability to hire is down,” Graves said in his opening remarks. “The recession’s high unemployment rates may have encouraged people to start sole proprietorships, but there are many obstacles in the way of growing a company to create jobs.” The Washington Post

The “Gotcha” Nature Of The Regulatory System Discourages Entrepreneurs From Expanding Or Taking On A New Venture. Hall, who helped launch the barbecue sauce and spice rib company in 2009, said owners of small companies like his often believe government has a “gotcha” attitude toward regulatory enforcement, “lying in wait to penalize” business owners for often trivial violations. The threat of such penalties and fines, he added, can be enough to make entrepreneurs think twice about risking their neck on a new venture. “It is the entrepreneur who has taken all the risk and invests his or her time and money into their endeavors with no guarantee of return,” said Hall, whose company now has products in more than 3,000 stores nationwide and recently opened its first restaurant in Alexandria. “If small businesses are not allowed to enjoy the benefit of success when it happens, they will never take the risk of failure.” The Washington Post

State Of Play (2): President Obama Heads To Oklahoma For A Photo Op, Not A Change In Policy

Oklahoma Welcomes President Obama – “Welcome To The Town That Fossil Fuel Built.” Forgive us, sir, if we don’t share your grudging acceptance of fossil fuel as some “temporary” alternative to the energy sources you prefer. It’s not that we dislike wind power. Lord knows we have plenty of wind. Suburban Oklahomans have embraced wind for their electricity, just as their homesteading ancestors embraced windmills on treeless plains. The head of a national wind energy trade association is a former member of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry. She loves wind power. But she also gets the criticality of hydrocarbons. Do you? Mr. President, it’s not that we don’t want a bridge to a future that doesn’t rely on imported oil. In fact, we think a key truss on that bridge is a fossil fuel called natural gas. We have lots of it, but your administration seems keen on restricting its exploration. In the town that fossil fuel built, we don’t feel trapped in the past, as you put it the other day. The Oklahoman

President Obama’s Stop In Oklahoma Is Nothing More Than A Photo-Op. The president stages a photo-op in Oklahoma to take credit for the portion of the Keystone XL pipeline that doesn't need his approval and for oil production on private and state lands beyond his jurisdiction. … The president will say he is "expediting" the permit process for the southern portion of Keystone XL, the emptiest of gestures. We already have some 55,000 miles of safely operating pipelines, most of which required state and local permits, not presidential hot air, to proceed. Investor’s Business Daily

The President’s Trip To Cushing To Talk About Keystone Is More Theater Than Substance. The Cushing-to-Gulf segment is much more of a local issue. So Thursday's announcement is more theater than substance. CNN

If You Had Any Doubt About The Photo-Op …. Check out the Backdrop for President Obama’s Speech

Reminder: President Obama Personally Lobbied Senate Democrats To Vote AGAINST Keystone. Politico

President Obama’s “Promise” For A Speedy Review Of The SOUTHERN PORTION Of Keystone Won’t Accelerate The Pipeline. President Barack Obama’s promise to expedite review of the southern leg of TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL pipeline won’t speed up the timeline for the project, which already is slated to start construction as soon as June. … TransCanada’s president of energy and oil pipelines, Alex Pourbaix, said in an interview March 6 that construction on the Cushing phase of Keystone could begin as soon as June. The company doesn’t expect the new review process to change that schedule, Cunha said yesterday. … Since the Cushing phase doesn’t cross an international border, it doesn’t require permission from the U.S. Department of State and president, as the full project did. Nonetheless, the Obama administration immediately endorsed TransCanada’s Cushing plan and released a statement … Bloomberg

WaPo Fact Checker Dings Obama On Playing Fast and Loose With Energy Production Facts. In fact, in the speech in Prince George’s County, he made it worse. As we explained before, “proven oil reserves” has a very strict definition, in part because reserves are considered actual assets owned by companies. The oil must have been discovered, confirmed and economically recoverable, with at least 90 percent certainty. But in his Prince George’s speech, Obama claimed that even if “we went to your house and we went to the National Mall and we put up those rigs everywhere, we’d still have only 2 percent of the world’s known oil reserves.” That’s just simply wrong. … The president is on an energy tour this week, and on Wednesday he once again made this claim. We hope he finally drops this specious logic from his talking points. The Washington Post

Floor Action: House Republicans Move To Repeal Another Portion Of ObamaCare

Chairman Camp: There Is Strong Bipartisan Support For The Repeal Of IPAB. And to pack an extra political punch just days before the Supreme Court hears a challenge to the law, House Republican leaders have said they will hold a vote before the end of the week on legislation repealing a key part of the law - a panel of appointees charged with curbing Medicare costs called the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). “Nearly two years since its passage, the Democrats’ health care law remains deeply unpopular,” said Rep. Dave Camp, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. “IPAB, which is a critical component of the law, illustrates why those concerns are still so strong.” … The problem with IPAB, Republicans charge, is also the main problem with the rest of the Affordable Care Act: too much federal control over health-care decisions. Painting the federal law as a tangle of federal bureaucracy and oppressive regulations, they say it will cause health care costs to rapidly inflate, weighing on businesses and crushing job creation. “This ‘government knows best’ approach is why Americans across the country support repeal, and it is also why there is strong bipartisan support here in Congress to repeal IPAB,” Mr. Camp said. The Washington Times

ObamaCare: With The Majority Of Americans Rejecting ObamaCare, Pelosi Democrats Vehemently Defend Its Broken Promises

As The Cost Of ObamaCare Soars To $1.76 Trillion and The Number Of Americans Covered By Employer-Based Insurance Plummet Pelosi Democrats Move To Defend ObamaCare. House Democrats are going all out to defend their health care reform law as the Supreme Court takes the case next week. President Barack Obama is talking about energy and jobs. Next week, he’s going to Korea. And not too many Senate Democrats plan on blowing out birthday candles for the law’s second anniversary this week. The law is divisive, and in swing states it’s an albatross for Democrats including the president and some of his Senate allies. So that leaves the House Democrats, many hailing from safe liberal districts where the health care law is popular, to soldier on like a lonely battalion defending the law and reminding the public of its benefits. They are in the midst of a week’s worth of press calls, news conferences and even a Twitter virtual town hall designed to promote their view that, two years after its enactment, the health care law has made a positive difference for millions of Americans. Politico

Speaking Of Pelosi … It’s Hard To Believe The Founding Fathers Would Agree With The Federal Government Forcing Citizens To Purchase ObamaCare Or Be Taxed, Fined, or Penalized If We Don’t. Speaking on the House floor, Pelosi called on her colleagues to remember "what our founders put forth in our founding documents, which is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And that is exactly what the Affordable Care Act helps to guarantee." The Hill

REMINDER: 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

ObamaCare Is Now Estimated To Cost $1.76 Trillion, A Clear Failure To “Bend The Cost Curve Down.” While we were once told that health-care reform would “bend the cost curve down,” we now know that Obamacare will actually increase U.S. health-care spending. This should come as no surprise: If you are going to provide more benefits to more people, it is going to cost you more money. The law contained few efforts to actually contain health-care costs, and the CBO now reports that many of the programs it did contain, such as disease management and care coordination, will not actually reduce costs. As the CBO noted, “in nearly every program involving disease management and care coordination, spending was either unchanged or increased relative to the spending that would have occurred in the absence of the program, when the fees paid to the participating organization were considered.” This failure to control costs means that the law will add significantly to the already-crushing burden of government spending, taxes, and debt. According to the CBO, Obamacare will cost $1.76 trillion by 2022. National Review

ObamaCare Fails To Lower Premiums By $2,500 Per Year As Promised. Once upon a time, the president promised us that health-care reform would lower our insurance premiums by $2,500 per year. That claim has long since been abandoned. Insurance premiums are continuing to rise at record rates. And, while there are many factors driving premiums up, Obamacare itself is one of them. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, insurance premiums had been rising at roughly 5 percent per year pre-Obamacare. That jumped to 9 percent last year. And roughly half that four-percentage-point increase can be directly attributed to Obamacare. Even Jonathan Gruber of MIT, one of the architects of both Obamacare and Romneycare, now admits that many individuals will end up paying more for insurance than they would have without the reform — even after taking into account government subsidies — and that those increases will be substantial. According to Gruber, “after the application of tax subsidies, 59 percent of the individual market will experience an average premium increase of 31 percent.” National Review

2 Futures: President Obama’s Budget Fails To Address The Primary Drivers Of The Debt, Raises Taxes On The Middle Class

Broken Promise: President Obama’s Budget Would Raise Taxes On Nearly One-Third Of Americans Making Between $50,000 - $75,000. President Barack Obama’s 2013 budget plan would raise taxes for 27 percent of U.S. households in 2013, far more than the administration estimates, according to a nonpartisan study. … In contrast, 31.6 percent of U.S. households earning between $50,000 and $75,000 a year would see an average tax increase of $92. Bloomberg

Editorial: Paul Ryan, House GOP Show Real Leadership On The Budget. Ryan offers Americans a choice: After several years of trillion-dollar deficits, do citizens want to keep borrowing for as long as bond markets will let them grow the national debt? Or do citizens want the U.S. to end its addiction? We don't applaud every detail of Ryan's bold effort to rescue the United States from its current race to financial ruin. We do, though, applaud him for again taking this political risk. That's what real leaders do. Chicago Tribune

Keeping Tabs

Senate Prepares To Pass The Bipartisan JOBS Act, House Version Of STOCK Act. In the latest sign that Congress is not as dysfunctional as advertised, the Senate is expected to easily approve two House-passed measures on Thursday. A bill that would ease some regulations on small businesses—which Republicans call a jobs bill—should pass the Senate with some Democratic amendments. That would necessitate a conference committee or force the House to accept the Senate’s changes. The Senate is also likely to pass the so-called Stock Act, which would enhance insider-trading restrictions on members of Congress, staffers, and some federal employees. National Journal

GOP Health Care Reforms