The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Jessica Straus on

Good Morning –

Yesterday, the President said his biggest mistake was failing to tell the American people a story that would get them through tough times. That’s true, the President’s economic fairy tale is far more gloomy. It’s one of the government seizing decisions from the American people on everything from health care to where and how they can invest their money. It’s a story that ends with 13 million Americans out of work, including 2.7 million young Americans who have no opportunity to begin their careers, and even more who have given up the search for a new job. House Republicans have a vision for this country that will create opportunities and return economic growth, so the American people have more stories of their own success and fewer to tell of the government holding them back. As Leader Cantor said on the House floor yesterday, our policies will create an environment our nation’s small businesses “to take a risk, for investors to put capital to work, for entrepreneurs to go out and sign their name on the dotted line.”

Today in History: In 1787, Congress enacted the northwest Ordinance, creating the Northwest Territory and the path by which new states would be admitted to the nation.

Birthdays: Rep. Rob Bishop, Todd Zwillich, Ryan Lizza, Julius Caesar, Harrison Ford, and Cameron Crowe

Here Are the Top Stories We’re Watching:

1. State Of Play: Leader Cantor: The House Will Vote To Stop The Tax Hike The Week Of July 30. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Thursday that the House would vote the week of July 30 on legislation to extend the Bush-era tax levels. The vote will be on extending the Bush rates for another year, and would come just before lawmakers leave for the August recess. "We have scheduled for that week a vote on a bill to extend the existing rates," Cantor said Thursday on the House floor, during a discussion with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). "That extension will be for a year." "We will also be bringing up a bill that will outline the principles for tax reform," Cantor added. He said this bill would be aimed at simplifying the tax code. The Hill

2. National Defense: Next Week The House Will Vote To Require Transparency Around Harmful Defense Cuts. The House is expected to pass legislation next week that would require the Obama administration to provide details about what programs it plans to cut, and how much, to comply with the mandatory cuts it must make to 2013 spending levels. The Sequestration Transparency Act, H.R. 5872, is a Republican bill meant to pressure the administration to reveal how it plans to deal with $109 billion in mandatory spending cuts in 2013, a requirement agreed to in last year's debt-ceiling agreement. Republicans have said the administration has so far given them no indication of how the cuts would be made, which includes cuts to mandatory programs like Medicare, but also the Defense Department. "This is a bill that will bring needed transparency to the administration's process for implementing devastating cuts to our national defense and many social programs on Jan. 2," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Thursday. The Hill

3. The Obama Economy: More Than 2 Million Jobs For Youth Are Missing In The Obama Economy. More than two and a half million jobs for young people aged 16 to 24 are currently missing from the American economy, according to a new report that paints a depressing picture of the economic outlook for that age group. “The new status quo runs counter to our expectations about the American Dream — rather than opportunity, young Americans can anticipate unemployment and underemployment through much of their 20s, resulting in lower earnings for years to come,” the report said. The report comes from Rory O’Sullivan and Alistair Johnston of the advocacy group Young Invincibles, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to expanding opportunity for young Americans. Using numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the authors calculate that 2.7 million jobs are missing for young people.“High youth joblessness combined with lower incomes may lead to weaker economic growth. Persistent youth unemployment could not only alter what it means to be young in America, but also stifle future opportunities for succeeding generations,” the report warns. While the national unemployment rate is 8.2%, the figure for Americans aged 16 to 24 is more than double at 16.5%. For Latino youth, the number rises to 20.5% and for African-Americans, the figure is an astounding 30.2%.“High unemployment and lack of opportunity contribute to a trend known as ‘disconnected youth’: young people who are neither in school, not working, and often do not have a high school degree,” the report said. “Disconnected youth do not learn the work skills or build the social networks necessary for future success, and they are at risk of raising children in poverty, who will themselves suffer many negative effects.” Wall Street Journal

4. Red Tape: Editorial: Obama's Crony Capitalism And New Regulations Drive Jobs Overseas. Before he died, Apple CEO Steve Jobs reportedly told President Obama to adopt more business-friendly policies, because "regulations and unnecessary costs" had made it difficult to build factories in the United States. If he didn't change course, Jobs warned, "You're headed for a one-term presidency." Jobs' words resonate now as the campaigns of Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, lob accusations of "outsourcing" back and forth. Obama claims Romney was a "pioneer in outsourcing jobs" because Romney's old private equity firm, Bain Capital, invested in some companies that created jobs in foreign countries. Romney claims Obama is the "outsourcer in chief" because billions in economic stimulus dollars went to foreign companies...The biggest factor dragging the U.S. down is its complicated tax system, which ranks 72nd in ease of compliance -- slightly better than Madagascar but slightly worse than Djibouti. Under Obama, the U.S. corporate tax rate became the highest in the world when Japan cut its rate recently. True, the effective rate that companies actually pay is slightly lower, but only by investing millions in lawyers and accountants to manipulate the tax code. Every dollar that firms spend avoiding high taxes is a dollar they are not spending on research and development or capital investments... The World Economic Forum has also downgraded the Obama economy. Its annual Global Competitiveness Index surveys more than 14,000 business leaders in 142 economies and ranks them on 12 "pillars of competitiveness." When Obama became president, the United States ranked 2nd. Now we rank 5th. The GCI explains the Obama era decline in terms of increased government debt and concerns over "the government's ability to maintain arms-length relationships with the private sector." The survey also notes that "[i]n comparison with last year, policymaking is assessed as less transparent ... and regulation as more burdensome. ..." In other words, Obama's crony capitalist policies have eroded trust in the business community, his record-breaking number of new major regulations have made it more expensive to do business and his failure to contain spending has increased fiscal uncertainty. That is what is driving American jobs overseas. Washington Examiner

5. Small Biz: President Obama’s Tax Hike Will Hurt Small Businesses. "The last thing you want to do is to raise taxes in the middle of a recession, because that would just suck up - take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole." That was President Barack Obama in 2009, trying to reassure Americans that he was going to wait until after the recession to raise taxes. Now he's begun pushing again for higher taxes on the "wealthy," which actually would hit 1.2 million of the country's most successful job creators …This misguided plan would hurt Americans at all income levels because it would slow job creation. As the Heritage Foundation's Curtis Dubay explains in new research, the tax increase would fall heavily on important job-creating businesses that pay their taxes through the individual income tax, known as "flow-through businesses." There has been considerable debate about whether flow-through businesses that pay the higher rates are job creators. A report from Obama's own Treasury Department, however, provides data that settle the point conclusively. For the first time, this report breaks out the number of flow-through businesses that have employees. According to the Treasury study, 4.3 million of these small businesses employed workers in 2007 (the most recent year for which data are available). The Treasury report shows that 1.2 million, or 28%, of them earned more than $200,000 - the income threshold over which Obama's tax increase would apply. More importantly for job creation, those 28% of businesses earned almost all - 91% - of the income earned by flow-through employer-businesses. Journal Sentinel

6. Keeping Tabs: Bypassing Congress, Obama Guts Welfare Job Requirements To Remedy His Jobless Economy. President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an official policy directive undermining the welfare reform law of 1996. The new policy guts the federal work requirements that have been the foundation of that law — one of the most successful domestic policy reforms in the 20th century… The welfare reform law was very successful. In the four decades prior to welfare reform, the welfare caseload never experienced a significant decline. But, in the four years after welfare reform, the caseload dropped by nearly half. Employment surged and child poverty among blacks and single mothers plummeted to historic lows. Obama’s new welfare decree guts sound anti-poverty policy. The administration tramples on the actual legislation passed by Congress and seeks to impose its own policy choices — a pattern that has become all too common in this administration. National Review

7. ObamaCare: 87% Of Self-Employed Surveyed Want ObamaCare Repealed. As the nation sorts out the details of the Supreme Court ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and considers the long-term impact of the decision, one thing is clear: the nation's 22 million self-employed and micro-business owners are still worried about rising health care costs and they want Congress to act. Last week, the National Association for the Self-Employed conducted a survey of our members…Of the nearly 900 respondents to our online survey, 87% said they believe Congress should repeal the entire law, voicing concern that the law's reform measures do little to address the cost and affordability of purchasing and maintaining health insurance…Among our members, knowledge of the law and its provisions is high -- more than 71% of those surveyed said they had at least some familiarity with the law. Given the way this issue has been politicized, I am not surprised that two-thirds of the respondents in our survey said the Court's decision and their viewpoint on healthcare reform would influence who they vote for in November. Huffington Post

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