The Leader's Ledger

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Good Morning,

Talk about a twofer. On the heels of President Clinton saying that extending the current tax cuts is “probably the best thing to do right now," this morning, former Obama economist Larry Summerscalled for an extension of the current tax rates. While the White House can’t be too happy, these prominent Democratic leaders have recognized that Republicans are right: allowing taxes to go up at the end of the year is the worst thing we could do in this economy. As Leader Eric Cantor tweeted yesterday, "I agree w/ Pres. Clinton that taxes shouldn't go up on anybody we should extend all tax cuts to provide certainty for families and small biz." If we want the economy to grow and people to get back to work, we need to come together and give the American people certainty that they will not face higher taxes in January.

Today In History: In 1944, Allies storm the beaches of Normandy to free Europe from Nazi control. Over 155,000 Allied troops landed on the beach on the first day alone, preceded by 18,000 parachutists who had dropped behind enemy lines earlier in the morning. Although the price was high, the operation was successful and marked the beginning of Europe’s liberation from Nazi occupation.

Birthdays: Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Emily Murry, Felicia Sonmez, Andrew Napolitano, Shannon Stewart, Paul Giamatti, Uncle Kracker, and Gary Bonds

Here are the Top 7 things you need to know today…

1. State Of Play: Leader Cantor Fights For Fiscal Prudence On Spending. “I don’t think there’s any question the policy that we’re trying to promote is one of fiscal prudence, but also if we feel the sort of green initiatives the president has been about are not yielding the result that was intended and the mission is not one that we would support, certainly we would focus on trying to end that,” Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House majority leader, said in an interview. “There are policy implications any time you go about affecting spending levels.” The House’s spending bills still must be reconciled with Senate measures that will be considerably more administration-friendly. But by setting an initial bargaining level so low, Republicans are signaling they are preparing for battle. And that fight would come in the heat of the 2012 campaign, when the next fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. NYT

2. Road Ahead: Leader Cantor Highlights The Importance Of The Election For The Direction Of Our Country. Cantor’s candid comments show how confident he is that his party will not only win House again, but the election will bring a Republican president and GOP Senate. The Virginia Republican said he was “bullish” that Republicans would keep the House and Mitt Romney would win his home state of Virginia… “Mitt Romney has offered a completely different view of how we tackle these really tough issues than the status quo that’s being pushed by Harry Reid and Barack Obama,” Cantor said. “They’re backing away, saying, ‘I’m wiping my hands of it, sequestration occurs, whatever goes on defense-wise will have to go on. We don’t fix the disproportionate problem of the entitlement — unfulfilled obligations in the future. Let it all go.’ And again, Mitt Romney says, ‘Wrong, we’re going to go and generate growth in the economy, we’re going to try to lead and fix these problems, please join us in doing that.’” POLITICO

3. Obamanomics: Few Options Left For Obama On The Economy Since His Policies Have Failed To Spur Sustained, Robust Recovery. In the wake of an alarmingly weak jobs report last week, President Barack Obama and lawmakers in both parties find themselves possessing few if any realistic options for jolting the economy out of its doldrums before Election Day. Big-ticket items like payroll tax cuts, free-trade agreements, months of extended unemployment benefits and "stimulus" spending on public works and aid to states and local governments have been tried but have failed to spur a sustained, robust recovery. Obama's $830 billion stimulus bill — a third of it tax cuts — enacted when he took office has pretty much run out, its impact the subject of heated debate on the campaign trail. At its peak in 2010, the stimulus measure accounted for at least 1 million jobs — and perhaps as many as 5 million — according to the Congressional Budget Office. Many of those jobs, particularly in state and local government, have since disappeared. Republicans, empowered by mid-term election returns two years ago, now scoff at Obama's suggestion for another round of stimulus government spending…"Whether it's pretending that small-ball, Post-It Note quality proposals would have a major impact on the economy, or pretending that Republicans — who are the only ones actually working on bipartisan solutions — are somehow sitting on our hands, he's doing a major disservice to the American people," Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said of the president. AP

4. Tax Tango: Former President Bill Clinton Bucks With Obama White House, Makes Case For Extending Tax Cuts. Former President Bill Clinton said “the best thing to do right now” would be for Congress to temporarily extend all expiring tax cuts into early 2013 to give lawmakers time to reach a deal on deficit reduction. Clinton’s comments represent a split with President Barack Obama, who wants to let the breaks for high earners expire as scheduled at the end of 2012…“What I think we need to do is to find some way to avoid the fiscal cliff, to avoid doing anything that would contract the economy now, and then deal with what’s necessary in the long-term debt reduction plan as soon as they can, which presumably will be after the election,” Clinton said. Bloomberg

5. Dem Divide: Former Dem Economic Advisor Larry Summers Also Says Tax Cuts Should Be Extended. Lawrence Summers said Wednesday that Congress should temporarily extend Bush-era tax cuts, making him the second person with ties to the White House who is undercutting President Barack Obama’s position that the rates on upper-income Americans should rise at year’s end. “The real risk to this economy is on the side of slow down…and that means we’ve got to make sure that we don’t take gasoline out of the tank at the end of this year,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program. “That’s gotta be the top priority.”…Mr. Summers said the U.S. need to keep providing energy to the economy. In areas where it has done so, such as manufacturing, the economy has grown. In areas where the U.S. hasn’t taken substantial actions—such as to help prevent teacher layoffs and increase infrastructure spending—the results have been “terrible,” Mr. Summers said. WSJ

6. Energy Focus: Whip McCarthy Encourages Spurring Job Growth Through Domestic Energy Production & Innovation. “The thing we have to do is produce more. If you produce more in America and you actually create energy independence across America you also create American jobs. When you have greater production, the cost goes down on gasoline but the same time, American jobs are created, and we're not funding other countries. It's an opportunity for job creation and with technology today, we can find oil in places we have not been able to find it before, but more importantly we can create American jobs in finding it…We have the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act - it's a set of seven different bills that look at the ability produce to more on federal lands because the one factor that you find on federal land, the production is down 14% under this President. If you look at the Bureau of Land Management, they have 1600 permits that have been delayed for three years. Just that permitting would create more than 60,000 jobs.” FOX

7. Health Care: Chairman Upton: ObamaCare Represents A Shocking Display Of Political Arrogance. Congress doesn’t often get a second chance to do the right thing. But when it comes to health care, the U.S. Supreme Court may provide lawmakers a historic opportunity to do just that. The high court will render its decision on the constitutionality of Obamacare by the end of the month. If the justices strike it down, Congress will have an opening to do what President Obama and the then-Democratic majority failed to do – listen to the American people…For starters, Congress should begin with a clean slate. That means repeal the law in its entirety, even if the Court holds only pieces unconstitutional. Obamacare spins an intricate web. Price-controlled individual coverage, including coverage of preexisting conditions, was based on forcing everyone to have insurance. How the mandated coverage edict works without the other dictates raises a host of significant problems that will increase premiums for many…Americans want and deserve a broad array of health insurance choices so they can identify those that best fit their own individual or family needs. These choices expand when we allow free enterprise to foster innovation, not smother it with taxes and one-size fits all ideology dictated by the federal government…Obamacare tried to do too much – attempting to solve all of these problems with one massive new law. But it only created a tangle of regulations, job-killing taxes and red tape. It enlarged the power of Washington more than it improved health care. It also intentionally failed to address Americans’ primary concern with our health care system – the rising cost of health care. CNBC

8. Pro-Growth: Startups Provide Nation's Economic Vitality. Virginia's Business Appreciation Week kicked off Monday morning with a call for small businesses old and new to act and think like startups…Keynote speaker Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week and senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation, an economic and entrepreneurship research group, talked about the importance of startups to the economy and to existing businesses. "If you don't engage in the startup culture, your business will recede," he said. "All net new jobs over the last 25 years have come from firms under 5 years old. That's why, Ortmans said, it's important that business owners and government agencies focus on what they can do to make "the path really easy for the first five years of operation."… Andrea Kilmer, who runs Virginia Beach-based EGS Enterprises, said it's important to have the right resources while growing so that nothing gets overlooked. "There are a thousand little things you have to do to get there, and if you miss one, the house of cards can fall," she said. Kilmer and the other CEOs on the panel said the biggest difficulty small-business owners face during growth is strategic hiring and firing. Richmond Times-Dispatch


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