The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

If the President is trying to salvage his weak economic record, pushing a purely political “fairness tax” that stifles economic growth and investment, and barely meets his stated goal of deficit reduction is probably wrong way to go about it. Senate Democrats, having failed to offer a budget or outline a path forward on the economy, have jumped on the President’s bandwagon by planning a show-vote on the President’s tax hike next week. In contrast, House Republicans have put forward a budget that outlines our plan to spur job creation, economic growth, reduce the debt and deficits by reducing tax burdens on families and job creators. Next week, the House will take another step forward to boost economic growth by voting on Leader Cantor’s Small Business Tax Cut Act to provide tax relief for our nation’s job-creating small business owners.

Today In History: On April 11, 1970, Apollo 13, the third lunar landing mission, was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise. The spacecraft's destination was the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon, where the astronauts were to explore the Imbrium Basin and conduct geological experiments. After an oxygen tank exploded on the evening of April 13, however, the new mission objective became to get the Apollo 13 crew home alive.

Birthdays: Kelli Garner, Alessandra Ambrosio, Mark Teixeira, Joss Stone, Erika Masonhall and Ethel Kennedy

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …

State Of Play: President Obama, Senate Democrats Focus On Tax Increases Instead Of Jobs

The Obama Rule: Taxes Must Be High – Don’t Pay Any Attention To Their Impact On Growth or Revenues. This week the Administration officially endorsed what in essence is the Obama Rule: Taxes must be high simply to spread the wealth, never mind the impact on the economy or government revenue. It's all about "fairness," baby. … The Obama Treasury's own numbers confirm that the tax would raise at most $5 billion a year—or less than 0.5% of the $1.2 trillion fiscal 2012 budget deficit and over the next decade a mere 0.1% of the $45.43 trillion the federal government will spend. When asked about those revenue projections, White House aide Jason Furman backpedaled from Mr. Obama's rationale by explaining that the tax was never intended "to bring the deficit down and the debt under control." Okay. So what is the point? The Wall Street Journal

Senator McConnell: Dem Show Votes Don’t Create Jobs, Don’t Make America More Energy Independent. Sadly, an administration that promised it would focus on jobs is wasting yet another day on a political event that won’t take a single person off the unemployment line. With millions out of work, gas at nearly $4.00 a gallon, and the election still seven months away, Republicans are calling on the President to join us in support of the dozens of jobs and energy bills that have passed the House but are stalled in the Democrat-led Senate. We should be focused on jobs and energy legislation that can pass—not tax-hike show-votes designed to fail.”

REMINDER: The Buffett Rule Has Nothing To Do With Helping The 13 Million Unemployed Americans Find A Job. Once you read it, you’ll realize the Buffett Rule has nothing to do with helping you, or 13 million other Americans looking for work as of March, find a job. Voters want overwhelmingly for the presidential election to focus on jobs and the economy. … If the Buffett Rule was a serious pitch to help the jobless, it would deal with one of those main drivers of unemployment. … Instead, it tells America’s job-seekers, Don’t worry, we’re going to make the tax code look more fair to you … it is: a political pitch. National Journal

The Buffett Rule Actually Makes The Loopholes President Obama Derides More Valuable. An even greater absurdity is the White House claim that this is a first step to tax reform because it will ensure that the "rich don't take advantage of tax breaks or structure their affairs to pay less taxes." Huh? A basic principle of any tax reform worth the name is to broaden the tax base in order to lower rates for everyone, not to raise them. The point is to make the tax code more efficient by reducing the incentive for avoidance—legal or illegal. The Buffett tax would only make loopholes more valuable. The Wall Street Journal

How Will Investment Be Spurred By Doubling The Tax On It? The Buffett rule is really nothing more than a sneaky way for Mr. Obama to justify doubling the capital gains and dividend tax rate to 30% from 15% today. That's the real spread-the-wealth target. The problem is that this is a tax on capital that is needed for firms to grow and hire more workers. Mr. Obama says he wants an investment-led recovery, not one led by consumption, but how will investment be spurred by doubling the tax on it? The Wall Street Journal

The Road Ahead: Cantor Focuses On Economic Growth, Job Creation and Boosting Small Businesses

Leader Cantor Continues To Focus On Growth, Boosting Small Business Job Creation. With more than 13 million people unemployed, "times are tough," and the best way to fix that is by creating new jobs, said Cantor, who noted that the recent government estimate of 120,000 net jobs created last month "fell short of expectations and what is needed." That means fostering small businesses, which account for 65 to 70 percent of new job creation, he said. In this globalized era when investment capital "knows no borders," Washington's policymakers should follow Virginia's example, promoted by governors and legislators of both parties, and tell the world that America is "open for business" by reducing government regulation, cutting corporate tax rates and reforming the tax code. UVA Today

Next Week The House Will Vote On Leader Cantor’s 20% Small Business Tax Cut – Read More About How A 20% Tax Cut Will Help Small Businesses Grow and Get Americans Back To Work HERE

Senate Dem: Criticism Of Buffett Rule “Reasonable,” Warns Against Doubling Tax Rates On Small Business. Coons called this a “reasonable criticism” of the Buffett Rule, but said there are ways around it. "I would agree that one of the issues that was raised is…how do we make sure that small businesses that are a significant number of filers under the corporate section that would pay a 30 percent rate, have some carve-out where if they’re investing, if they’re creating jobs, they don’t face a doubling of their tax rates,” Coons said. “I do think that’s a reasonable criticism of the Buffett Rule if just applied across the board.” The Hill

State Of Play (2): The JOBS Act Will Help Companies In Sectors That Typically Haven’t Had Access To Capital

Steve Case: The JOBS Act Is Good For Our Entrepreneurial Economy, and Because Startups Are The Big Job Creators, Good For Our Nation … 40 million jobs have been created by new businesses during the last three decades, and the Kauffman Foundation reports that accounted for nearly all the net new jobs created in the United States during that period. But there's been a dip in this activity recently, with startups down 23% since 2007. There are many reasons for this … But access to capital was critical, and that's why I've spent time in recent months helping to build bipartisan support for the JOBS Act. … In summary, the JOBS Act will help a wide range of companies in a wide range of sectors - and is likely to be particularly helpful to the many companies in sectors that haven't typically had ready access to capital (manufacturing, consumer products, business services, retail, restaurants., etc). This will be good for our entrepreneurial economy, and because startups are the big job creators, good for our nation. Revolution

Weak Sauce: Rolling Stone’s Criticism Of The JOBS Act Premised On Inaccuracy And A “Whole Battalion Of Straw Men." Yesterday on his Rolling Stone blog, Matt Taibbi took a swing at the JOBS Act, but missed and missed hard. Mr. Taibbi asks “how does a law exempting a Silicon Valley startup from independent accounting actually encourage investment?” Well, it wouldn’t help encourage investment if that’s what it did. It doesn’t. No-one is being exempted from independent accounting. Nor are they being permitted to go to market “without publishing real numbers.” Still less are they being permitted to “make their projections up on the backs of envelopes.” Mr. Taibbi is constructing a whole battalion of straw men and stabbing them to death with his Pointy Pen of Outraged but Inaccurate Populism. … It looks like Mr. Taibbi’s next blog post is going to address crowdfunding. Which is bad because Steve Case likes it, we gather. Mr. Case may also like puppies; does that mean puppies are the agents of the fiscal apocalypse? CrowdCheck

ObamaCare Update: Support For ObamaCare Hits A New Low

53% Of Americans Oppose ObamaCare, Strong Critics Outnumber Supporters By Nearly A 2-1 Margin. Fifty-three percent of Americans now oppose the law overall, while just 39 percent support it – the latter the lowest in more than a dozen ABC/Post polls since August 2009. “Strong” critics, at 40 percent, outnumber strong supporters by nearly a 2-1 margin in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. ABC News

Two-Thirds Of Americans Continue To Believe SCOTUS Should Strike Down ObamaCare In Its Entirety, Or At The Very Least The Individual Mandate. Two-thirds continue to say the high court should throw out either the entire law (38 percent) or at least the part that requires most individuals to obtain coverage (29 percent) or face a penalty; just a quarter want the court to uphold the law as is. Those numbers, like views on the law overall, are essentially unchanged from a month ago. ABC News

Keeping Tabs

Fall Out From President Obama’s Failed Energy Agenda: Virginians Are Forced To Quit Their Jobs Because They Can’t Afford The Commute. "People start seeing their friends finding jobs, and they decide to come back to the labor force and start looking, too," said Chris Chmura, president of Chmura Economics and Analytics, a Richmond-based economics consulting firm. Another factor, especially in areas like the Valley where many people commute long distances to work, is the price of gas, she said. The booming job markets of Charlottesville and Harrisonburg draw many from the Valley, but with gas prices stuck above $3.80 a gallon, some find they simply can't afford the commute, and quit to look for jobs nearer at hand. She said that while area's unemployment rate, adjusted for seasonal factors, is in line with the state's, improvement has come more slowly here. The News Leader

More Questions Arise Surrounding GSA’s Taxpayer Funded Junket … Former General Services Administration administrator Martha Johnson missed a lavish Las Vegas conference for government employees because she was already committed to meetings in California at Solyndra, according to testimony in an official government investigation. Solyndra is the now-bankrupt green energy company that the Obama administration had provided with a $535 million loan through the stimulus. The development, if true, dovetails together two embarrassing but otherwise unrelated episodes for the Obama administration. … According to the testimony transcript, in response to a question about Johnson, Neely explained the need for extra audio/visual expenses because Johnson couldn’t attend the conference. “Martha was actually coming to the West Coast and we had invited her to participate, but the events that she was coming to the West Coast for; one was a meeting with Salindra [sic], who is down to the San Jose area,” Neely answered, although the transcript incorrectly spelled the Fremont, Calif.-based business. GSA ended up forking over $3500 for the four assistant administrators to participate in a video-teleconference, according to Neely in the IG interview transcript. ABC News

GOP Health Care Reforms