The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Jessica Straus on

Good morning,

Friday’s disappointing jobs report made it clear that the economy is still on weak footing. We need to do more to boost economic growth and job creation. As Leader Cantor said last week, “let’s not forget, we are nowhere near out of the woods. We want to continue to grow this economy. We want to make sure people get back to work. If we’re growing private sector jobs at a couple hundred thousand a month, that’s good. We need to do more.” The House is focused on delivering real results for the engines of job creation in the economy - our nation’s small businesses. That is why next week the House will vote on the Small Business Tax Cut Act to give small businesses a 20% tax cut so they have more opportunity to retain and hire more workers.

Birthdays: Kristen Stewart, Dennis Quaid, David Robertson, Cynthia Nixon and Jesse McCartney

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …

Spotlight: Leader Cantor’s Citizen Cosponsor Project ‘Leverages Technology To Better Serve The American People.’ House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) recently introduced Citizen Cosponsor Project as “an innovative way for you to stay in touch with your Member of Congress.” The project is part of an effort by the Office of the Majority Leader and House Republicans to leverage technology to better serve the American people….Cantor’s team is committed to making sure users’ participation in the Citizen Cosponsor Project translates into a substantive impact in the offline legislative process. “We are going to experiment with several different ways to engage,” Lira said. This will include using the feedback gathered from the project in hearings, markups, and policy discussions. Embracing new technology has been the core of House Republicans’ attempts to fulfill their 2010 Pledge to America - “restoring Americans’ trust in the People’s House.” By making the House more transparent, accountable and accessible, initiatives like the Citizen Cosponsor Project will hopefully renew Americans’ confidence that Congress can tackle the challenges our country faces. Red Alert Politics

State of Play: March Jobless Numbers Serve As A Reality Check On The President’s Economic Policies

March Jobless Numbers Serve As A ‘Big Reality Check.'
The picture was disappointing at a time when all eyes are on the U.S. to help keep global growth humming. The jobless rate, which is obtained from a separate survey of households, edged down to 8.2% from 8.3%, its lowest point in three years. However, that decline was due less to new hiring than people abandoning their job searches. Friday's report stirred fears of a repeat of what happened in the early part of the past two years, when signs of strength petered out as months ticked by... Hiring was lackluster in many industries. Retail-store employment dropped by 34,000, despite a recent rise in consumer spending, while construction payrolls fell by 7,000. Temporary-help jobs, often a bellwether of the job market's direction, fell by 7,500 after rising by nearly 55,000 in February."This serves as a big reality check for folks that were thinking that economic growth had ratcheted up to the point where the Federal Reserve didn't need to worry so much," said Mark Vitner, economist at Wells Fargo Securities. Wall Street Journal

The President’s Abysmal Record. [The President’s] other domestic efforts have been largely a bust. The stimulus did not produce the promised economic boost and recovery from the recession remains stubbornly slow and unemployment stubbornly high. Green energy is failing and failing and failing. The price of gas has nearly doubled since he became president, despite the recession, while domestic production of oil and natural gas has been rising despite his policies, not because of them. And, of course, the country continues hell-bent towards the fiscal cliff at the rate of $1 trillion plus per year. Obama, and the Senate Democrats, have not even tried to do anything about something the people in poll after poll have called their number one concern. Commentary Magazine
After 3 Years Of Unprecedented Government Stimulus, The President Has Not Created An Economy ‘Built to Last.’ Friday's March employment report, which turned up a weaker-than-expected increase of 120,000 net new jobs. That's half the pace of the three previous months and is a long way from what it should be some 33 months after the economy started growing again.…President Obama and the Federal Reserve have thrown three years of unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus at the economy, including another $100 billion payroll tax holiday this year. So far the results have not been a job market or economy "built to last." Wall Street Journal Editorial

Wasserman Schultz Calls Current The 8.2% Unemployment Rate, 12.7 Million Jobless Americans and the President’s Broken Promises On the Economy “Significant Progress.” CNN State of the Union

CROWLEY: Your counterpart at the Republican National Committee, said on Friday. "Over three years ago, President Obama projected that the unemployment rate would be below 6 percent by now thanks to his stimulus. But the stimulus failed and unemployment has been far above that level ever since." Is that legitimate criticism because in fact that is what the president's economic folks projected with the stimulus that was passed?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Again, that's another example of where the Republicans just refuse to acknowledge that we've made -- that we've made progress. We have made significant progress, even in manufacturing...

State of Play (2): Bipartisan JOBS Act Is A Bright Spot For Job Creation, Economic Growth

JOBS Act Could Help Create Thousands Of New Jobs And Doesn’t Require The Government To Spend A Dime. An unusual thing happened at the White House Thursday afternoon: the President signed a piece of legislation that could lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs. It wasn’t a stimulus bill. It actually doesn’t require the government to spend a dime. It was the JOBS Act, a law that gives start-ups more and freer access to capital so they can grow and create jobs. House majority leader Eric Cantor quarterbacked this law through the House and he joins Scott to talk about what it will do to foster economic growth. Bearing Drift

JOBS Act Was Built By The Work Of Broad, Bipartisan Coalitions. "This is probably the only bill I'll be involved with in my life but the people who do this for a living say this is shocking how quickly it went through," says Ms. Mitchell, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. Last year she helped draft a series of recommendations to address one cause of the U.S. economy's inability to create jobs—the decade-long drought in initial public offerings (IPOs) of young companies. "Within a year, that it went from concept to law is amazing. So, yes, it's, I would say, a miracle," says the co-founder of Scale Venture Partners….Ms. Mitchell reports that as the Jobs Act moved forward, "there was a lot of buzz about it in the Valley." And she was encouraged to see that it did not simply excite the CEOs of companies about to go public…."The really early-stage guys were just as interested because it means they have the opportunity now—not to have a product they sell to Google for $2 million—they have something that could be big. I think it's really about setting a bigger target." She says it's not about returning to the tech-bubble days of the dot-com era. Her hope is that the U.S. can repeat the success of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when 150 to 200 young companies backed by venture capital were going public every year—more than three times the average of the last decade. Wall Street Journal

Keeping Tabs

Rising Gas Prices Weigh Heavily On Small Business Owners, Families. To counter the jump in fuel prices, trucking companies add surcharges to customer bills. At Meiborg Bros. Inc., a Rockford trucking company that runs 40 trucks and employs 65, fuel surcharges have risen between 5 percent and 6 percent since Jan. 1, co-owner Zach Meiborg said. “It may not sound like a lot, but if we do $150,000 a week, that’s a lot of money coming out of the economy,” he said. “Price increases all go to the consumers in the end.” The National Federation of Independent Business said in March that one in five small businesses it surveyed planned on increasing prices in coming months.“The price of gasoline is a wild card, and rising energy costs will weigh heavy on the minds of small-firm owners,” said William Dunkelberg, the NFIB’s chief economist.Fuel prices have more than doubled since 2004. But sudden price spikes last spring and in 2008 have been most damaging, surprising consumers who sharply reined in spending. Businesses cut production and employment.Rockford Register Star

Spike In Gas Prices Hurts Every Sector Of The Economy. Paying $4 a gallon for gas not only puts a crimp on transportation spending, it's also a psychological barrier that makes consumers hunker down in other areas, said Bob Robicheaux, a retailing expert and professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "People just stop moving around as much all together," he said. "The spike in gasoline prices can cause a downturn in shopping at the malls and trips to the stores because people begin to question whether they want to travel 10 or 15 miles round trip to go explore what they might buy."…Clay Ingram, spokesman for AAA Alabama, said .... "I wish I could say it's about to get better, but I'm afraid it's probably going to get worse before it gets better." Birmingham News

Remembering Mike Wallace

As the biggest star of the longest-running, highest-rated, most influential news show since its 1968 debut, Mr. Wallace helped define television journalism with an adversarial interviewing style that was as admired as it was feared. Washington Post

Born Myron Leon Wallace in 1918 to Russian Jewish immigrant parents (his father was an insurance broker, his mother a homemaker) in Brookline, Mass., this is a man who has had four wives, two children and seven grandchildren…An old 60 Minutes ad hanging on his office wall reads: The four most dreaded words in the English language: Mike Wallace is here. It's not true anymore, says Wallace, whose brusque, peremptory manner once struck fear even in his own staff. He may not be the bulldog of yore, but ask him what he's working on and his eyes get that old, familiar look. "Come, let me show you something," he says, leading you out of his Emmy-cluttered office and over to a blackboard. The correspondents' names are chalked at the top and under them a list of stories. Wallace has eight scoops working, and he goes through them now, one by one, with the enthusiasm of a cub reporter: "And this? Oh, my, let me tell you. This one is going to be a wonderful, wonderful story..." People Magazine, 1997

"All of us at CBS News and particularly at '60 Minutes' owe so much to Mike. Without him and his iconic style, there probably wouldn't be a 60 Minutes. There simply hasn't been another broadcast journalist with that much talent. It almost didn't matter what stories he was covering, you just wanted to hear what he would ask next. Around CBS he was the same infectious, funny and ferocious person as he was on TV. We loved him and we will miss him very much.” Jeff Fager, Chairman, CBS News

Off The Beaten Path

Bubba Watson Wins The Masters, Shows Nation An Unforgettable Boo-Hoo Face ESPN

15,000 Attend Tebow’s Easter Service in Texas Yahoo

Titanic 3D: For Those Of Us Who Were Too Busy In The ‘90s C-Ville Daily

GOP Health Care Reforms