The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Jessica Straus on

With initial jobless claims on the rise, today the President will try to hit the reset button on his record to backpedal his out-of-touch assessment that the “private sector is doing fine” and distract from the fact that unemployment is stuck above 8%. Strangely, the President plans to try to change the subject (again) by highlighting…nothing in particular. As has been reported, the President won’t present any new ideas. Instead he will play the blame-game and ask the American people for more time to recycle the failed policies that have hindered growth and job creation. After three years under President Obama, small businesses aren’t growing, teens and recent grads can’t find jobs and the not-so-fine private sector added less than 70,000 jobs last month. The American people need a real reset button – that is why House Republicans are focused on pro-growth policies to spur opportunity, job growth and get the economy back on track.


Today In History: On June 14, 1959, the Disney Monorail System started operating. Since its premiere, the Disneyland Monorail system has traveled nearly 3 million miles, roughly the equivalent of 120 trips around Earth. When it was dedicated by then-Vice President Richard Nixon and Walt, it became the first daily operating Monorail System in the Western Hemisphere.

Birthdays: Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Rep. Bob Gibbs, Whip Steny Hoyer, Amber Marchand, Donald Trump, Steffi Graf, Yasmine Bleeth, and Kevin McHale

Here Are The Top Stories We’re Watching:

1. Reality Check: Obama’s Policies Have Slowed Job Creation, Unemployment Expected To Remain Stalled At 8.2 Percent. Underscoring the challenge for President Barack Obama as he campaigns for a second term, economists have reduced their forecasts for jobs growth throughout 2012 and lowered predictions for all of next year too. The median forecast for monthly jobs growth in the April-June period plummeted to 97,000 from 155,000 in the last survey, reflecting weak jobs numbers already announced for April and May. The Reuters poll of economists in June found that between now and October, the U.S. economy will gain an average of 147,000 jobs a month, not enough to quickly bring down the U.S. unemployment rate, currently at 8.2 percent. Expectations for jobs growth were cut all the way through the end of 2013 when they were seen reaching 191,000 a month, down from a forecast of 200,000 in the May poll. Economic growth is also expected to be slower. Reuters

2. Obama Economy: Treasury Secretary Geithner Acknowledged The Economy Is Not Doing Fine.Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Wednesday said that despite a gaffe by President Obama last week, in which the president said the private sector is “doing fine,” the administration understands the economy is in tough shape. He acknowledged that, given pressures from Europe, the U.S. economy is not on track to bring down the current 8.2 percent unemployment rate faster, and implored Congress to act on stalled legislation to create jobs. “It is a very tough economy still...growth not as strong as we would like,” he said, speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Most forecasters look at the American economy and they say [it will] grow at roughly a 2 percent rate…That is not strong enough to bring down the unemployment rate faster,” he said. The Hill

3. Jobs Numbers: More Americans Sought Unemployment Aid Last Week, Increasing By 6,000 Applications To 386,000, Suggesting Hiring Remains Sluggish. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly unemployment benefit applications rose 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 386,000, an increase from an upwardly revised 380,000 the previous week…The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose for the third straight week to 382,000. That's the highest in six weeks…For now, the economy appears to be sputtering. It expanded 1.9 percent in the first quarter, down from 3 percent in the October-December quarter. Growth isn't expected to improve much in the current April-June quarter…The economy is still struggling three years after the recession officially ended in June 2009. Wages haven't kept up with inflation. State and local governments have continued to shed jobs. AP

4. Pro-Growth: For Real, Long-Term Growth It’s Time To Stop Spending And Start Making Tough Choices. The big story of the past six months isn't the debt itself but the market's disowning of European sovereign debt. Recall in January when this newspaper reported that investors were shifting out of European debt and buying instead the debt of such emerging market powers as Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa because of "economic fundamentals." That is the sound of Europe losing centuries of economic and political power… Here's pro-growth advice no one in Europe will take: Stop listening to the IMF bleeders and the Obama spenders. If you wish to relearn real, long-term growth, consult the U.S. governors who did that themselves. Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Mitch Daniels in Indiana and Chris Christie in New Jersey all took over states nearly as moribund as Italy and Spain and put before their publics hard but obvious choices about spending, taxes, pensions, unions and bureaucracies. Their publics voted against dying. One may ask: Would a European electorate, if given an honest chance to choose self-salvation rather than the bleed-to-death choices they've been given the past two years, vote to save themselves? The betting here is many indeed would vote for a liberated future. Or would have.Wall Street Journal

5. Small Biz: Small Businesses Reach Stagnation Point. Hiring and spending levels at small businesses remained depressed in May, as did plans to do more in the near future, according to a new survey. The Nation Federation of Independent Business’s Index of Small Business Optimism for May was 94.4, a historically low figure and consistent with the sub-par performance of GDP and employment growth. Individual indicators were mixed, with expected sales in a three-month decline. However, some employment components improved and profit trends remained relatively stable after its sharp gain in April. “In the last year, small-business optimism has limped along, and today the sector is no better off than it was just over a year ago,” said NFIB chief economist William Dunkelberg. “The lack of progress is discouraging, producing no signs that economic activity will pick up this year at all. The calculus of spending decisions requires an estimate of future sales, tax rates, interest rates and credit availability, labor costs, health-care costs, regulatory compliance costs, all of which are very uncertain. Most of this uncertainty is the result of what is happening—and not happening—in Washington. Investments in jobs or plant and equipment are not the priority while people are still bracing for the worst.” Accounting Today

6. Health Care: Senator Thune: ObamaCare Will Drive Up Health Care Costs, We Need To Repeal The Flawed Law And Start Moving In Incremental Steps. “I think in most cases, what companies are going to do, if you put more taxes on them, which this does, and you have the tax on medical devices, you have taxes on pharmaceuticals, you have taxes on health insurance plans, all new taxes in the bill, we said at the time that those are going to be passed on. Of course, at that time, each CBO basically agreed with us and said you are going to see higher health care costs as a result of the taxes in the bill…The Administration had hired to do their analysis of this, that all of these mandates and requirements were going to driving the costs up as much as they have. But my guess is, if you looked at what the insurance companies were doing, they were taking all of these requirements and new costs and passing them on, which is what I would expect to happen…I think what the Republicans should do, if the court throws the individual mandate out is try to repeal the rest of it and get us back to where we are starting and moving in incremental step-by-step way toward a health insurance plan for this country that makes sense, as opposed to the one that we got, which is a top-down, you know, driven big bureaucracy, government mandate, and an incredibly expensive program that is going to drive up the costs of health care for most people in this country and be, I think, a terrible liability for taxpayers in the future, because when it's fully implemented, tell cost $2.5 trillion over a 10 year period.” FOX News Channel

Off The Beaten Path:

Colin Powell Sings “Call Me Maybe

Public Swearing Outlawed In Massachusetts Town

Homeless Man Allowed To Keep $77,000 He Stumbled Upon


GOP Health Care Reforms