The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

Right now, as a new survey shows, cash-strapped small businesses are spending even more time and money preparing for Tax Day. Small businesses generate more than half of new jobs in this country, and their recovery is the key to getting more Americans back to work. That is why next week, House Republicans will vote on the Small Business Tax Cut Act to give every small business with fewer than 500 employees a 20 percent tax deduction. With this measure, we will help 22 million small businesses keep more of their own money so they can grow and hire again. On the other side of the Capitol, Senate Democrats will vote to raise taxes. Rather than advancing partisan and unserious show votes, the President and Senate Democrats should work with us on tax policies to help small businesses grow and create new jobs so we can get the economy going again.

Today In History: In 1997, 21-year-old Tiger Woods won the prestigious Masters Tournament by a record 12 strokes in Augusta, Georgia. It was Woods' first victory in one of golf's four major championships–the U.S. Open, the British Open, the PGA Championship, and the Masters–and considered by some as the greatest performance by a professional golfer in more than a century.

Birthdays: Thomas Jefferson, Don Adams, Al Green, Courtney Peldon, Max Weinberg, Alexandra Adi, Baron Davis, and Aaron Lewis

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …

State Of Play: House GOP Fights To Cut Taxes For 22 Million Job Creators Allowing Them To Grow and Hire, While Democrats Push Another Tax Hike

Shorter: Republicans Fight #4Jobs, Democrats Do The Opposite. Laena Fallon, a spokeswoman for Cantor, fired back Thursday afternoon. “The contrast couldn’t be more clear,” she said. “While Democrats are busy formulating their latest tax hike that will do nothing to grow the economy or create jobs, House Republicans will pass a tax cut to help 22 million small business job creators keep more of their own money so they can grow and hire again.” Roll Call

While Democrats Are Trying To Raise Taxes Again – More and More Small Businesses Are Being Forced To Spend More Time and Money On Tax Compliance. According to a survey by the National Small Business Association (NSBA), 64% of small-business owners reported spending more than 40 hours this year dealing with federal taxes -- up from 57% last year. An even more striking number is the 45% who reported spending more than 80 hours – or two full workweeks -- crunching their numbers. Fox Biz

State Of Play (2): President Obama and Senate Democrats Continue To Focus On Tax Hikes

REALITY CHECK – The Buffett Rule Is A Distraction From President Obama’s Dismal Record On Growth, Unemployment and “Dereliction Of Duty” In Failing To Address The Coming Debt Crisis. The Buffett Rule redistributes deck chairs on the Titanic, ostensibly to make more available for those in steerage. Nice idea, but the iceberg cometh. The enterprise is an exercise in misdirection — a distraction not just from Obama’s dismal record on growth and unemployment but, more important, from his dereliction of duty in failing to this day to address the utterly predictable and devastating debt crisis ahead. The Washington Post

The Buffett Rule Isn’t About Growth – It’s Another Anti-Investment, Anti-Growth Tax Hike Brought To Us By President Obama’s Failed Economic Agenda. “This is not just about fairness,” he insisted on Wednesday. “This is also about growth.” Growth? The United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. Now, in the middle of a historically weak recovery, Obama wants to raise our capital gains tax to the fourth highest. No better way to discourage investment — and the jobs and growth that come with it. (Except, perhaps, for hyperregulation. But Obama is working on that too.) The Washington Post

The President’s Plan To Dramatically Increase Capital Gains Taxes Will Have A Negative Impact On Investment and Growth. When he first unveiled the tax-hike plan he dubbed the Buffett Rule, President Obama claimed it would “raise enough money” to “stabilize our debt and deficits.” “This is not politics,” he insisted,“it’s math.” Well, it looks like Obama finally double-checked the arithmetic. Because the White House now disingenuously claims that the proposed 30 percent minimum tax rate on high-earners “was never our plan to bring the deficit down and get the debt under control.” Instead, says the president, it’s all about “fairness” and making sure that “all Americans play by the same rules.” Which sure sounds like politics to us. And it’s also nonsense. Because the Buffett Rule has nothing to do with debt reduction — nor, especially, tax fairness. … Actually, what Obama really wants is a dramatic increase in the capital-gains tax — which primarily hits business owners and investors. The very people, that is, who create the jobs that America — beset by chronic high unemployment — desperately needs. New York Post

VIDEO – President Obama’s New Talking Points Per Conan O’Brien

The Road Ahead: Republicans Move To Address Tax Reform

Chairman Camp Begins Talks To Enact Pro-Growth Tax Reform. The push for a broad overhaul of the federal tax code will begin in earnest next week with a series of meetings between Representative Dave Camp, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Republican rank-and-file. … Sage Eastman, a spokesman for the Ways and Means Committee, said Mr. Camp was eager to prove them wrong. “The chairman would not have written that letter, and every Republican member of the committee would not have signed that letter, and the budget committee chairman would not have put it in the budget if there was not a way to do it,” Mr. Eastman said. “I’ll say emphatically we can do it.” Mr. Camp will hold a series of planning sessions next week in the leadership office of Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the majority whip. The idea is to lay out the magnitude of the challenge, Mr. Eastman said. The New York Times

JEC Vice Chairman Kevin Brady To Hold Hearing On How Taxation Of Capital Affects Growth and Employment. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Vice Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, will preside over a hearing on how taxation of capital affects growth and employment on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 10:00 am in the Hart Senate Office Building Room 216. … “President Obama advocates increasing individual income tax rates, boosting taxes on capital gains and dividends, and imposing more taxes on American companies successfully selling American-made goods and services overseas. In previous JEC hearings, we have shown a strong relationship between changes in business investment in buildings, equipment, and software and changes in private sector job growth.”

Keeping Tabs

Chairman Issa Blasts WH Fuzzy Math On GSA – Congressional Republicans investigating the General Services Administration’s conference spending released new numbers Thursday that contradict earlier claims from the Obama administration about the meeting’s lavish price tag. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee disclosed Thursday that the cost of GSA’s 2004 conference in Portland, Ore., was actually $401,024. The Obama administration had previously said the cost in 2004 for the conference was $93,000. … was the 2010 GSA junket in Las Vegas that drew media attention and public anger when a report from the agency’s inspector general revealed that the Western Regions Conference cost taxpayers an excess of $800,000 — spending that was “excessive and wasteful,” according to the report. Politico

President Obama’s Promise Of Green Jobs Coming Up Short. Stretching row upon row into the desert, the Copper Mountain Solar Project not far from Las Vegas provided an impressive backdrop for the president. Built on public land, the facility is the largest of its kind in the United States. Its 1 million solar panels provide enough energy to power 17,000 homes. And it employs just 10 people. … But the millions of "green jobs" Obama promised have been slow to sprout, disappointing many who had hoped that the $90 billion earmarked for clean-energy efforts in the recession-fighting federal stimulus package would ease unemployment - still above 8 percent in March. Reuters

AFL-CIO, SEIU Tried To Stop The Overwhelmingly Bipartisan JOBS Act and Efforts To Increase Small Business Entrepreneurship. A new small-business law spearheaded by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is harming relations between the White House and its labor allies. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which passed with broad bipartisan support earlier this year, loosens regulations on small-business capital formation. Proponents on Capitol Hill say it will encourage entrepreneurship … The Service Employees International Union, the second-largest labor union, also strongly opposed the JOBS Act and tried unsuccessfully to stop it. Talking Points Memo

GOP Health Care Reforms