The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Brian Patrick on

Good morning,

Although the latest GDP numbers show economic growth dropped from a dismal 3.0% down to 2.2% in the first quarter of 2012, the White House is looking on the bright side this morning. Their interpretation calls these dour figures: “the 11th straight quarter of positive growth.” When a President sets the bar for success at zero, it’s easy to call anything a win.

The reality is our nation has faced 11 months of slow growth; a recovery so unsubstantial that 12 million Americans remain out of work. Real economic growth and job creation will start when the private sector has more opportunity to pick up the pace. As Leader Cantor said last night, “People have come here to this country, ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Right now Washington is in the way and has made it too difficult for that to happen.” House Republicans are putting forward real solutions that will boost private sector job creation. We hope the White House stops spinning dismal economic numbers and joins us on pro-growth measures to spur a real economic recovery.

Today In History: In 1956, world heavyweight champ Rocky Marciano retires from boxing at age 31, saying he wants to spend more time with his family. Marciano ended his career as the only heavyweight champion with a perfect record--49 wins in 49 professional bouts, with 43 knockouts.

Birthdays: President Ulysses S. Grant, Casey Kasem, Ace Frehley, Ari Graynor, and Erica Elliott

Here is what’s in today’s Ledger …

State Of Play: Leader Cantor On Kudlow – Republicans Are For Boosting Small Business Job Creators and For Implementing Pro-Growth Tax Reform

Leader Cantor: I just don't understand why it's so difficult to get some people in Washington to say, you know what, small business people should be able to keep more of their own money because they know how to allocate their capital, grow their business, not Washington. And just because somebody who may be wealthy has a small business and is creating jobs, why can't I go home to Richmond, Virginia, and tell the folks that I represent they can get a benefit and have it easier.

Larry Kudlow: The President always says it's the government's money. He says tax cuts are like spending cuts, and we can't allow that. Is it the government's money, or is it the small business's money?

Cantor: It's a fundamental difference of vision in terms of the direction of the country. I think most Americans believe it's their money and the money is better spent with those that earn it. Not to say the government doesn't have a function, we need to make sure that is a limited and responsible government that functions. At the end of the day, the growth in this economy and the ability to reinstill some optimism in America will come from the confidence in the private sector and especially our small business men and women. That's what the small business tax cut is about, to create more jobs.

Kudlow: On the path to broad based corporate tax reform, I certainly hope which may be the number one priority for growth.

Cantor: No question about it! We can't get there right now because the President has insisted that any kind of broad based tax reform is a tax hike. We believe in lowering rates, broadening the base, and simplifying the code so that capital can flow to its most efficient use without government and Washington going in and picking winners and losers to the tax code.

• Watch The Full Interview HERE

State Of Play (2): President Obama’s Failure To Focus On Growth On Full Display As GDP Numbers Fail To Meet Already Weak Expectations

GDP Growth Fails To Live Up To Expectations, Numbers Point To A Decline In 2nd Quarter Growth. So much for the +3.0% GDP whisper number. Instead of printing at the expected number of +2.5%, the first preliminary GDP data point (two more revisions pending) came out at 2.2%, a big disappointment for a quarter which had a substantial boost from the weather. … Cementing the ugly composition of Q1 GDP was fixed investment which added just a paltry 0.18% - this is the number which is critical for ongoing cashflow generation and unfortunately, the very low print means that growth outlook for Q2 is now even worse than before and we expect economists will promptly trim their already bearish predictions for Q2 GDP. Zero Hedge

Warning Signs: Business Spending Fell To Its Lowest Level Since 2009, Pace Of Investment Slows. Economic growth cooled in the first quarter as businesses cut back on investment and restocked shelves at a moderate pace … business spending fell for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2009, with investment in equipment and software rising at its slowest pace since the recession ended. Reuters

Obamanomics Fallout – 3 Years Of Unemployment Above 8%, Half Of College Graduates Unemployed Or Working A Job Below Their Skill Level. With unemployment above 8 percent for the longest time since the Depression and the economic recovery limping along at the most anemic pace in modern history … Making matters worse for Democrats was an analysis by the Associated Press showing that the labor market in the Obama economy is so weak that half of 2012 college graduates were unemployed or working in jobs below their skill levels. The Chicago Sun-Times

He’s Made It Worse: President Obama’s Washington Run Economic Agenda Continues To Stifle Private Investment and Economic Growth. President Obama’s policies have produced a stagnant economy. Instead of allowing the private sector to allocate resources and create jobs, the president wants Washington to spend, regulate, and alter incentives in much of the economy. These policies hamper private investment and growth. Even after three years of evidence that his policies have made things worse, the president continues to propose further intervention and regulation of the economy. National Review Online

Floor Action

House GOP Moves To Prevent Student Loan Rates From Doubling. Republican leaders are ready to try pushing legislation through the House holding down interest rates on federal loans to millions of college students. … The House planned to vote Friday on the bill, which would keep interest rates at 3.4 percent for subsidized Stafford loans, instead of rising as scheduled to 6.8 percent on July 1. The GOP-written package would cover its $5.9 billion cost by plucking money from a preventive health fund established in President Barack Obama's 2010 health care overhaul law … Republicans noted that many Democrats had voted earlier this year to take money from the preventive health fund to help pay to keep doctors' Medicare reimbursements from dropping. Obama's own budget in February proposed cutting $4 billion from the same fund to pay for some of his priorities. … On the Democratic side, party leaders were pressuring their rank-and-file to oppose the Republican measure. Some Democrats were eager to vote to keep student loan rates low, though it meant accepting GOP health care cuts. Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., said some Democrats "may feel upon reflection that they've got to swallow hard but swallow" those health care reductions. The Associated Press

Keeping Tabs

A Look Inside The Inner Thoughts Of The EPA. It's no secret that the bosses at the Environmental Protection Agency hate fossil fuels. But few are as candid as Al Armendariz, the regional administrator who says the agency's "general philosophy" is to "crucify" oil and gas producers. That's how EPA chief Lisa Jackson's point man for Texas, Oklahoma and other south-central states put it in 2010 lecture. Mr. Armendariz explains that his staff's "philosophy of enforcement" is "like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They'd go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they'd find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years." The point is to "make examples" of alleged lawbreakers. Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe released video of the speech on Wednesday as part of his investigation into the EPA's now-discredited claims of water contamination due to hydraulic fracturing, including in Parker County, Texas. In that case Mr. Armendariz's shop targeted Range Resources, a driller that has since been exonerated, and his remarks about executions raise questions not only about his own work but the EPA's larger impartiality and judgment. The Wall Street Journal

GOP Health Care Reforms