The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Jessica Straus on

Good Morning,

In May, hiring was the slowest it’s been in a year. According to a new poll, the majority of the American people have lost faith in the American dream. An astounding sixty percent of Americans no longer believe that this country affords opportunities for this generation and the next. House Republicans are driving solutions that will spur growth and create opportunities. As Leader Cantor said last week, “Our role as policymakers at the federal level is to create and environment for that to happen for everybody, to afford equal opportunity, not equal outcome.” However, House Republicans cannot act alone. President Obama needs to work with us remove the barriers holding back job creators and stifling economic growth, so more Americans have a fair shot at earning success.

Today In History: In 1968, after giving a speech celebrating his victory in the California Democratic Presidential Primary, Robert F. Kennedy was shot and killed at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Birthdays: Dr. Jill Biden, Suze Orman, Mark Wahlberg, Bill Moyers, Pete Wentz, and Kenny G

Here are the Top 6 things you need to know today…

1. State Of Play: House Will Vote To Repeal ObamaCare’s Medical Device Tax This Week. GOP leaders plan to push legislation through the House this week to repeal an excise tax on the makers of medical devices sold in the U.S. The tax, which takes effect next January, applies to everything from replacement joints to imaging equipment but exempts consumer products like eyeglasses and bandages…GOP lawmakers have named their legislation the Protect Medical Innovation Act, and insist it is not aimed at dismantling Obama's health care law. "That's not part of my agenda," said chief sponsor Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., whose state is one of the centers of the nation's $130 billion-a-year medical device industry. He said the tax would eat up dollars that otherwise might go toward research and development -- and jobs. Repealing the tax would cost the government an estimated $29 billion over the coming decade -- a small fraction of the health care law's cost. Republicans would pay for repeal by making it easier for the government to recover overpayments of federal insurance subsidies that lower-earning people may receive under the health care overhaul. AP

2. Health Care: Medical Device Tax Is Threatening Jobs And Raising Premiums. The 2010 health care law has several new taxes designed to offset its costs. Many of the taxes seem to be narrowly targeted at sick people and the people who help them…The medical device tax is a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices sold in the United States, with exclusions for eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, and devices “generally purchased by the general [sic] public at retail for individual use.” This last exception seems to be intended more to hide the tax from the public than anything else – except maybe to prevent criticism for what would have been a tax on things like Band-Aids and thermometers...While the tax is formally payable by the manufacturers and importers of taxable devices, the effects will be felt by patients and workers as well. The tax will be passed along to hospital, health care providers, and patients in the form of higher prices (leading to higher health insurance premiums), as well as to medical device industry employees in the form of lost jobs. The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the tax collected will amount to $1.7 billion in 2012, rising to $3.5 billion in 2022, and totaling $29 billion for the period from 2013-2022 (the ten-year “budget window”). Based on these figures, and historical data for the medical device industry, I estimate that this is likely to lead to a loss of about 14,000 jobs in the that industry. The result will be a reduction in industry output, which in turn means fewer patients receiving treatment. Forbes

3. Pro-Growth: Editorial: To Jumpstart A Real Recovery We Need To Focus On Providing Certainty About Future Tax Rates And Regulations. The Obama administration likes to blame the country's weak economic performance on the Bush administration, Europe's debt crisis, Japan's tsunami and so on. President Obama's advisers are now saying they learned only gradually that the economy was in even worse shape than they had imagined in 2009. But even if this is so, it gets the signals backwards: A bigger recession predicts a stronger recovery (as has to be true for the economy to return to its trend line)…To achieve a real recovery, government policy should focus on individual incentives to work, produce and invest. Central here are tax rates and regulations, including especially clarity about future policies. In a successful policy package, the government would get its fiscal house in order and make meaningful long-term reforms to entitlement programs and the tax structure. The Obama administration seems to think that individual incentives and serious fiscal reforms are of no great importance and policy should emphasize Keynesian-style demand stimulus (public works, prolonged benefits) along with bits of industrial policy (loans and grants to "green" energy companies). This approach has failed for three years. WSJ

4. Obamanomics: The Lowlights Of President Obama’s Failed Economic Policies. May's weak jobs report further confirms the president's policies are failing to help the economy. This is, indeed, the worst recovery since the Depression. Negative superlatives associated with this presidency keep piling up. The toll so far: The share of Americans who've been out of work a long time — now at 42% of the unemployed — is the highest since the Great Depression (source: Labor Department). The proportion of the civilian working-age population actually working, at 58%, is the smallest since the Carter era (Labor Department). Growth in nonfarm payroll jobs since the recovery began in June 2009 is the slowest of any comparable recovery since World War II (Hoover Institution). The rate of new business startups — the engine of job growth — has plunged to an all-time low of 7.87% of all businesses (Census Bureau). 3 in 10 young adults can't find jobs and live with their parents, highest since the 1950s (Pew Research)…Federal spending, now at 23.4% of GDP, is the highest since WWII (CBO). Excluding defense and interest payments, spending is the highest in American history, at 17.6% of the economy (First Trust Economics). The federal debt, at 69% of GDP, is the highest since just after WWII (CBO)…This is what Obamanomics has wrought. Fiscal promiscuity. Trickle-up poverty. Shared misery. Investor’s Business Daily

5. Small Biz: Small Business Owners Are Still Struggling To Catch Up, Say Fair Business Loans Are Tough To Come By. Why has there been so much less lending the last few years? Have the banks simply stopped making the too-risky loans they were making before the economic crisis hit? Did they overreact and stop making even sound loans to sound companies? Or did lending drop because after the recession, businesses started to retrench and their demand for credit declined? Did all banks stop lending or was it just the big banks? It is very hard to get definitive answers to these kinds of questions. One reason is that we can’t even agree on important definitions. The Small Business Administration reports on lending activity, but nobody knows what percentage of overall lending the S.B.A. accounts for. The big banks release their scorecards on small-business lending but they define small businesses as those with revenue of $20 million or less. For its reports, the Federal Reserve defines small businesses as having revenue of $50 million or less. For its reports, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation defines small-business loans as those with balances of $1 million or less. The merchant cash advance lenders and factors do not release reports at all…We have been reading reports that the recession is over and that the economy is on the mend. I can assure you that for most small-business owners that we talk to at MultiFunding, this is far from the case. Many are still reeling from the recession and struggling to catch up. Working capital is a fight. Banks are not easy to deal with, and fair loans are tough to come by. If you own a retail or service business, it is even harder. NYT

6. Committee Check: House Advancing Legislation To Help Put Americans Back To Work. House Education and the Workforce Committee Republicans are taking action, advancing legislation that will strengthen and modernize the workforce investment system to better meet the needs of workers, employers, and taxpayers. The committee will soon consider the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4297). The common sense proposals included in H.R. 4297 will revamp the current ineffective workforce development system by: Enhancing the ability of local leaders to respond quickly to employers’ and workers’ needs. Improving access to employment and training services in remote areas, increasing the role of employers on local workforce investment boards. Enabling workers to quickly receive valuable support. Ensuring workforce training programs are tailored to the job opportunities available in the local community…As committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) said earlier today, "The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 will help the nation close the skills gap, streamline federal workforce development services, and eliminate arbitrary roadblocks that prevent workers from learning the skills employers need. The fiscally responsible reforms included in our proposal are long overdue and urgently needed." Education & Workforce Committee

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GOP Health Care Reforms