The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Jessica Straus on

Good morning,

Despite news of weak job growth in April, and other indicators showing college graduates have few job opportunities and economic growth has slowed, the Obama Administration insists on insisting the economy is growing. On Friday, the White House chief economist told CNBC “the economy continues to go in a positive direction” and the Vice President said on Meet the Press there has been “no stagnation” in economic growth. Real solutions to spur economic growth and job creation depend on an understanding of the obstacles preventing 12.5 million Americans from finding work. House Republicans continue to promote pro-growth policies that will address economic growth, the debt and long-term joblessness head-on.

Today In History: In 1789, President George Washington attended a ball in his honor. The event provided a model for the first official inaugural ball, held to celebrate James Madison's ascension to the office ten years later, which then became an annual tradition.

Birthdays: Tim Russert, Rep. Candice Miller, Former Sen. Pete Domenici, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, Bruce Haynes

Here are the Top 5 things you need to know today…

1. State of Play: Senator Thune: President Obama’s Economic Policies Have Failed College Graduates, The Middle Class And Women. The president’s strategy – spend now, worry about paying later – has driven up the deficit by a staggering 47 percent in just three years, to a breathtaking $15.6 trillion. His proposed budget for 2013 would add another $11 trillion and would decrease our economic growth by up to 2.2 percent over the next 10 years. …Given the current state of the economy, it is almost inconceivable that the president has proposed a budget that would bring about further job loss. This year’s crop of college graduates looking for jobs are confronting an economy in which unemployment has remained above 8 percent for 38 straight months. A recent report highlighted the fact that one out of every two recent college graduates is unemployed or underemployed. …And it’s not just young Americans who are struggling in this economy. President Obama’s policies have also made things worse for the middle class. Under President Obama, the cost-of-living for the middle class has soared: worker health insurance costs have shot up 23 percent, college tuition has increased 25 percent, gas prices have doubled, and home values are down 14 percent. Women in particular are struggling. The poverty rate for women has reached a 17-year high, and there are nearly 700,000 fewer women working today than when President Obama took office. Fox News

2. Economic Distortion: Phony Numbers And Accounting Tricks Define The Obama Administration’s Claims About The Economy. The White House crowed on Friday about the unemployment rate dropping a 10th of a percent. At the same time, the number of people out of the labor force reached a record high. The Obama administration can report all the funny numbers it wants, but the American people know in their guts that things are getting much worse. A recovering economy is supposed to create jobs, not shed them. According to government math, 115,000 new jobs were added in April. But over the same period, 522,000 people dropped out of the labor force and were not counted as unemployed. This accounting trick improved the official unemployment rate but left America with a record 88.4 million in the uncounted jobless category. Currently, over 35 percent of Americans are out of the labor force, and the number is increasing…Other data show how the officially sanctioned unemployment number doesn’t make sense. Broad measures of economic growth are declining. Weekly new unemployment claims rose in April, and the Gallup seasonally adjusted unemployment number for the month increased by half a percent. Social Security disability claims increased, and according to a Congressional Budget Office report released in late April, more Americans are on food stamps than at any time in history, and that number is growing. How all this translates into a positive jobs picture is a question best left to the bureaucratic math wizards at the Labor Department. Washington Times

3. Pro-Growth Policies: Chairmen Sam Graves And Scott Tipton Unveil Small Biz Bills To Promote Trade. In honor of World Trade Month, House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade Chairman Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) will roll out legislation today to strengthen the coordination of the federal export promotion agencies and help more small businesses export. Although 95 percent of the business purchasing market exists outside the U.S., the chairmen say many small firms do not have the resources and personnel to utilize these opportunities or navigate the more than 20 federal agencies that can assist with some of the steps in the export process. The "Export Coordination Act of 2012" and "TRADE for Small Businesses and Jobs Act" will make the export process easier for small firms to participate. Press Release

4. Encouraging Entrepreneurship: Yahoo! Releases Free Online Marketing Management Tool To Boost Small Businesses. Yahoo! recently announced the launch of a new resource designed specifically for small business owners. Called the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard, the tool was created to equip entrepreneurs with a practical way to leverage online marketing opportunities for business growth. Shannon Parker Hane, Director of Product Marketing, Yahoo! Small Business, said "We created the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard to help small business owners who feel overwhelmed by online marketing options and monitoring a wide range of sites and social networks to keep up with customer feedback. Now, within a single tool customers can conveniently evaluate their marketing options, campaign results and online reputation without having to search across the Web for information." Yahoo Release

5. Politics Of Division: Editorial: The Buffet Rule Has Already Been Accomplished. The U.S. Senate wisely has rejected the election-year pablum going by the name of the "Buffett Rule." Named after investor Warren Buffett, who says he should have to pay higher taxes than his secretary, the measure sought to impose a minimum 30 percent tax on anyone with $2 million or more of taxable income. The legislation was based on a faulty premise — that hordes of plutocrats are paying less in taxes than the average American. But this is not so. …If the aim of the Buffett Rule legislation was to make the rich pay a higher effective tax rate than the poor, then there was no need to pass it — because they already do. Besides, anyone who belongs in the top tier of American earners is perfectly free to give as much money to the federal government as they wish. The Bureau of Public Debt is happy to accept the money (at Not surprisingly, though, rich people who argue for higher taxes almost never avail themselves of this opportunity. That is because talk is free, while backing it up costs real money. Richmond Times-Dispatch

Off The Beaten Path:

Goodbye Goober

Who knew…NoVa is a beer drinker’s paradise

#MayIs4Troops: On this day in 1945, Nazi Germany unconditionally surrendered to the Allied Powers at Reims, France, ending the war in Europe.

GOP Health Care Reforms