Today, former Obama Adviser Steven Rattner joined the chorus of voices who are making clear what the President did not: the private sector is not doing fine. Rattner said this morning, “Since the beginning of the recession there have been close to 5 million jobs lost in the private sector…and people’s incomes are also down in the private sector over this period of time. So the 90 percent of Americans that have jobs have lower incomes on average.” The President’s policies have resulted in a stalled economy, fewer jobs and lower incomes. House Republicans are working to reverse this course. We need the President to start listening to those on both sides of the aisle and work with us to help create an economy that is doing fine.
Today In History: In 1986, the hit John Hughes-directed teen comedy "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," was released, starring a young Matthew Broderick as a popular high school student in suburban Illinois who fakes an illness in order to score a day off from school, then leads his best friend and his girlfriend on a whirlwind day through Chicago.
Birthdays: Rep. Mike Conaway, Amy Barrera, Lindsay Williams Drath, Gene Wilder, Joshua Jackson, Vince Lombardi, Joe Montana and Jacques Cousteau
Here are the Top 5 things you need to know today…
1. State Of Play: Obama Senior Advisor David Axelrod Dodges, Won't Answer If Private Sector Is “Doing Fine.” Asked repeatedly about the president's initial comments, in which Obama said Friday the private sector was "doing fine" compared to the public sector, David Axelrod said on CNN's "State of the Union" that the private sector certainly needs more jobs but did not go as far as mirroring the president's clarification on the state of the economy. Pressed by CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley on whether the administration really believes the private sector is fine, Axelrod continued to point to the need for more public sector jobs. "We need to accelerate job creation in the private sector. One of the ways that we can do that is putting teachers and fire fighters and police back to work because those are good middle class jobs," Axelrod said. Ryan Williams, spokesman for the Romney campaign, pounced on the interview, saying Axelrod was dancing around the question. “When even your own chief strategist can’t defend your comments, it indicates that your assessment of the economy might be wrong,” Williams said in a statement. CNN
2. Startup Nation: “Headwinds” Holding Back Job Creation Are Of Obama’s Own Making. Memo To Entrepreneurs: Obama's Just Not That Into You. Two studies suggest the "head winds" that President Obama says are holding back employers are of his own making. His policies have sidelined a key job creator: the entrepreneur. Historically, young startup firms have been a major job engine for the economy, particularly as the nation has emerged from recessions. But new federal data show the rate of business startups continues to fall in this recovery. According to the Census Bureau, the startup rate, measured as a share of all firms, has plunged to 7% from 9% in 2008 and from 11% in 2006. The pace, moreover, is almost half the 1980s' peak of 13%. Of all the negative trends tracking this administration, this may be the most disturbing. As startups have hit an all-time low, we've seen an accompanying decline in job creation from startups, which explains the jobless recovery. Investor's Business Daily
3. Obamanomics: The President’s Economic Policies Have Failed To Produce Growth, More Government Spending Is Not The Answer. Mr. Obama's presser was far more revealing for what it said about how he thinks an economy grows. His line about "the private economy doing fine" was followed immediately by a complaint that America's real growth problem today is shrinking government. Here's the complete context: "The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we've created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine. Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government—oftentimes, cuts initiated by governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don't have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.”…The fair if depressing takeaway from Mr. Obama's press conference is that he continues to believe, despite three and a half years of failure, that more government spending is the key to faster growth and that government really doesn't need to reform. This is how you get a jobless rate above 8% for 40 months and the weakest economic recovery in 60 years. Wall Street Journal
4. Tax Debate: Laffer: You Can’t Tax An Economy Into Prosperity, Keeping Taxes Low Will Help Boost Growth. Best known as the man whose curve helped define Ronald Reagan's supply-side philosophy more than three decades ago, Laffer believes in low tax rates, free trade, restrained government spending, sound money and reasonable regulation. "You can't tax an economy into prosperity," he said during a recent discussion with the Times-Dispatch Editorial staff…Laffer preaches low, flat tax rates as the most vigorous tonic for curing weak growth — no surprise from an economist who famously drew a graph that explained how lower tax rates will always reduce government revenue less than expected and sometimes may even increase revenue. More important, the Laffer Curve predicts that cutting tax rates will exert a powerful positive influence on work, output and employment. "If you tax people who work and you pay people who don't, you know what the consequences will be. Incentives matter," he said…The 2012 presidential election offers Americans the opportunity to set a clear direction for the U.S. economy, Laffer said. This time, there's a distinct difference in the economic platforms offered by the two candidates. "People get the government they deserve," he said. Laffer, who voted for Bill Clinton both times he ran for president, is not impressed by the recent performance of Clinton's party. "I don't think there's a Democrat in Washington today who would run his family budget the way they've run the federal budget." Richmond Times-Dispatch
5. Fast and Furious Update: The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is scheduled to vote next week to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress for refusing to provide information tied to an ongoing investigation into the Justice Department’s “Fast and Furious” gunwalking investigation…In the broader House, Republican leaders co-signed a letter with Issa to President Obama asking that the Justice Department comply with the congressional subpoena. The letter was seen as the first step before the committee’s contempt vote and a possible vote by the full House. In a statement, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Monday that “Congress can no longer wait. Assuming Attorney General Holder continues to stonewall, we will have no choice but to hold him in contempt for his failure to provide the documents necessary to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.” Washington Post
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