The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Jessica Straus on

Good morning,

So, how did the White House respond to this morning’s news that the economy is stalled? Chief White House economist viewed the GDP numbers through rose colored – no – cloudy lenses: "While the economy continues to move in the right direction, additional growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the deep recession that began at the end of 2007." Moving in the right direction? Economic growth slowed from a dismal 2.0% in the first quarter down to 1.5% in the second quarter of the year. With millions of Americans out of work and college students facing a jobless market after graduation, it’s clear the President’s failed policies have pushed the economy in the wrong direction.

This Day In History: On this day in 1776, the secret Congressional emissary to France, Silas Deane, writes a letter to Congress, informing them that he has been successful beyond his expectations in France. The Committee of Congress for Secret Correspondence, consisted of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Harrison, John Dickinson, John Hay and Robert Morris.

Birthdays: Rep. Glenn Thompson, Alex Rodriguez, Justin LoFranco

Here Are The Top Stories We’re Watching:

1. State Of Play: Economic Growth Slows Even Further, Shows President Obama’s Policies Aren’t Working. The U.S. economy took a turn for the worse in the spring as consumers pared spending and businesses invested at a slower pace, with little sign that growth will accelerate sharply anytime soon. Gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S., rose at a tepid 1.5% clip in the second quarter, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast the economy to expand by 1.3%. Most sectors of the economy downshifted in the second quarter, whose growth was sharply lower compared to the prior two periods. The U.S. grew a revised 2.0% in the first quarter and 4.1% in the last three months of 2011. Newly revised government data on Friday also showed that the recovery following the end of the 2007-2009 recession was not as strong as initially reported. Nor was the downturn — the worst since the Great Depression — quite as deep. Market Watch

Leader Cantor On Dismal GDP Numbers: “Unemployment has been above 8 percent for 41 months and today the Commerce Department confirmed that the economy is stuck in neutral. The President’s policies have failed to generate the growth needed to get millions of Americans back to work… Continuing three years of failed policies, the President and Senate Democrats continue to push for tax hikes that will cost the economy hundreds of thousands of jobs and hold back small business job creation. Small businesses and working families need to know that the government won’t take more of their hard earned money. That is why next week the House will vote to stop the tax hike for all Americans. It’s that simple.” Majority Leader

2. Stop The Tax Hike: Leader Cantor: Now Is Not The Time To Raise Taxes On Anybody. Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the number two Republican in the House, said that the battle lines have been drawn in the run-up to across-the-board government spending cuts due to take effect in January, with the outcome to be determined by this November's election...Referring to the Senate bill as "Barack Obama's tax hike proposal," Cantor said the House will vote next week on a Republican measure to extend tax cuts that would include the wealthiest Americans. "In the House, we intend next week to bring up a bill that will ensure that taxes don't go up on anybody," Cantor said…“Now is not the time to raise taxes on working families or small businesses, and especially given the fact that Washington has not been able to control its spending. The more you tax folks, take money out of their pockets and let Washington spend it, the more you're digging the hole deeper, which is why we need to get this straight and resolve the underlying problem," adding that he thinks a resolution will be reached. CBS This Morning

3. Red Tape: Leader Cantor: Red Tape Is Stifling Job Creation. Small businesses are caught in a riptide of red tape. The overwhelming onslaught of rules and regulations coming from Washington is making it nearly impossible to start or stay in business, let alone grow, succeed, and create jobs. Since the president took office, his administration has had under review more than 400 regulations that cost the economy $100 million or more. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses are facing annual regulatory costs of up to $10,000 per employee…Every extra rule, regulation, or requirement where the government imposes a cost on the economy disrupts and distracts small business owners from growing their business. The last thing the economy needs right now are more roadblocks. We need to cut through the red tape to create an environment of certainty to promote innovation and unleash economic growth…The owner of a trucking company in Ashland, Virginia, in my district, says that constant regulatory changes by the Environmental Protection Agency have caused the prices for his operation to go up. These rising costs have made it more difficult to operate today and even harder to plan for future…Since day one, House Republicans have been focused on creating a better environment for job growth. The House voted this week on the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act to begin to roll back unnecessary red tape, giving businesses of all sizes more certainty and opportunity to grow and create jobs. U.S. News & World Report

4. Two Futures: Clear Choice For The Future Of Our Country, Pro-Growth Solutions That Promote Economic Freedom, Or More Big Government Styled Spending. “I am fearful that if we continue down the path of the Obama agenda, we will be living in a country we do not recognize. That's why this election is so important. And frankly, the American people have a huge choice -- are we going to go in the direction that Mitt Romney is laying out for this country? A direction in which small business people, entrepreneurs, working families can live the dream, that is, that they can go about building and earning their success and provide their families a better life? Or are we going to go and empower Washington to grow ever bigger to take more hard-earned money of the people that actually make it and start to make decisions for working families, businesses across the board? Which one is it? And I believe frankly the American people understand that our country is about freedom. It's about economic freedom, individual freedom. It is the Obama policies that are just anathema to the concepts of limited government and more individual freedom. So, again, I would say, Sean, I cannot recall a time in which the matters are more urgent and the fact that folks will really going to be put to the test here when we come to November.” Hannity

5. ObamaCare Update: Editorial: Making Up The Rules To Ram Health Care Overhaul Down The Nation’s Throat. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli hit the nail on the head the other day when he compared health care reform to the comic strip "Calvin & Hobbes." But the consequences for the nation are no joke. "Remember Calvinball?" Cuccinelli said, referring to a game invented by the comic-strip character. "The rules of Calvinball were whatever Calvin said they were. And Calvin made them up on the fly." Exactly so. Just look at the Supreme Court's June 28 ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to Chief Justice John Roberts' majority opinion, the individual mandate is (a) a tax and (b) not a tax. It is not a tax for the purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. That act says lawsuits cannot be brought to forestall future tax collections; they can be brought only once a tax has been imposed. Since the mandate does not take effect until 2014, the high court would have had to throw the case out if it decided the mandate's penalty was a tax. Roberts said the penalty was not a tax, so the court could rule on the merits of the case now. Then he turned around and said that while the mandate was not a permissible exercise of congressional power under the Commerce Clause, it was a permissible exercise of the congressional taxing authority. In other words, the penalty is a tax…By now it is abundantly clear that those who support the health-care overhaul will find whatever lame excuse they can dream up to ram it down the nation's throat — whether the excuse holds up under scrutiny or not. The name of the game is Calvinball, and they get to make up the rules as they go along. Richmond Times-Dispatch

6. Keeping Tabs: Democrats Kick US Economy While Its Down. Senate Democrats voted Wednesday to raise taxes on a struggling economy at a time of rising unemployment and slowing economic growth. Dismissing months of statistics showing the economy may be on the cusp of a double-dip recession, Democrats passed the tax bill by a thin 51-48 margin to show their support for President Obama’s failed economic policies. The Democrats’ action represented the triumph of their party’s ultra-leftist, class warfare ideology over economic common sense. Democrat James Webb of Virginia and independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, voted against it. No Republican voted for it. Washington Times Opinion

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GOP Health Care Reforms