The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Megan Whittemore on

Good Morning,

Another month of dismal jobs numbers reinforces what we already knew – economic growth has stalled, millions of Americans are still out of work, college grads are unable to find employment and many people have stopped looking for jobs all together. As Leader Cantor said this morning, "The President has had three years to get the economy going again, but he has not. His policies have not worked, and we can't afford to keep going down the same path." It’s time to change course. House Republicans are committed to bold, pro-growth policies that will empower small businessmen and women to grow and hire. In the coming weeks, the House will vote to stop the tax hike and remove the red tape strangling our nation’s small businesses to help get the economy back on track and more people back to work.

This Day In History: In 1933, the first Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played. Hoping to hold a major sporting event in conjunction with the 1933 World’s Fair, Chicago Mayor Edward Kelly contacted the Chicago Tribune for ideas. Sports editor Arch Ward proposed a one-time “Game of the Century” between the best players of the National and American Leagues to be played at Comiskey Park in Chicago. With ballots for selecting players printed in 55 newspapers across the country, hundreds of thousands of votes were cast with Babe Ruth drawing 100,000 alone. The game was such a success, it has been held every year except 1945, due to wartime travel restrictions.

Birthdays: Gina Padrone, George W. Bush, Nancy Reagan, John Paul Jones, Dalai Lama, Richard Benedetto, Sylvester Stallone, Geoffrey Rush, and 50 Cent

Here Are The Top Stories We're Watching:

1. Jobs Report: Dismal Jobs Data Indicate Slowing Growth. U.S. job growth barely picked up in June, the latest sign that economic growth has slowed. Nonfarm payrolls grew by 80,000 last month, the Labor Department said Friday. The politically important unemployment rate, obtained by a separate survey of U.S. households, was unchanged at 8.2%. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a gain of 100,000 in payrolls and the steady June jobless rate… Even with June's numbers coming in stronger than the previous two months, the pace of job creation remains well below figures at the start of the year—the economy added an average of 226,000 jobs a month in the first quarter, versus only 75,000 in the second quarter. May and April payroll numbers saw small revisions with little net effect. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 77,000 in May, compared with the previously reported 69,000, and April payrolls grew by 68,000 versus a previously reported 77,000. The slowdown in hiring shows that, three years after the recession's end, the economy has failed to gain traction amid broad uncertainty related to Europe's debt crisis, the potential for steep U.S. tax increases and spending cuts next year, and signs of slower growth in developing countries. Wall Street Journal

2. Economic Reality: Unemployment Line Much Longer Than It Looks. The headline unemployment rate has been flattered by the number of people no longer counted in the denominator used to calculate it. For example, a comparison of jobs data between the start and end of 2011 shows the ranks of the unemployed fell by 822,000 while the number of people not in the labor force grew by a larger 1.24 million. The unemployment rate fell by 0.6 percentage points over that time to 8.5%. In fact, the participation rate—the share of the working-age population either working or looking for work—has fallen by 2.3 percentage points over the four years through May to 63.8%, a three-decade low. Nearly 88 million people—about seven times the ranks of the officially unemployed—aren't part of the headline rate's calculation. Thank the vagaries of government statistics and simple demographics for that. For example, the male rate of participation, which peaked near 88% over 60 years ago, has declined sharply with rising life expectancy. The female rate moved in the opposite direction as two-career families proliferated, but also has dropped recently. Even so, the extremely long duration of joblessness that has seen people fall off the rolls has had a bigger impact than aging since 2008. The civilian employment ratio, which simply divides employed people by total population, has dropped from 63% to 58.6% in just five years. That is a significant drop in the share of people whose paychecks, not to mention taxes, support the economy. Payroll growth has averaged just 148,000 in the past year—barely the minimum needed to absorb new entrants to the labor force. Wall Street Journal

3. Obamanomics: Obama Recovery Now Ranks Dead Last In Modern Times. With the new June jobs report in hand, President Barack Obama's economic recovery now ranks as the worst in modern times in terms of both job creation and economic growth, says the GOP leader of Congress's Joint Economic Committee. Texas Congressman Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the Joint Economic Committee, observed that the June Employment Report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics along with the gross domestic product report released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on June 28th has marked a milestone: President Obama’s economic recovery ranks as dead last in the post-World War II era. “Since 1945, the United States has had ten economic recoveries that lasted more than one year. In terms of both how fast the U.S. economy has recovered and how many private sector jobs have been created since the recession's low point, President Obama now ranks tenth of ten - that's dead last," said Brady. “Three years after the recession officially ended in June 2009, we still have more than four million fewer private sector jobs than we did when the recession started,” he continued. “And for the 41st consecutive month, the unemployment rate has soared above a discouraging 8%.” Brady says that while President Obama boasts about the 4.4 million private sector jobs he claims have been created during the latest 28 months, put in perspective "President Obama's recovery has been weaker than every one of his predecessors in the past seven decades. He can try to spin it any way he wants but when measured by jobs or by economic growth he's at the bottom of the list." Joint Economic Committee

4. Energy Focus: Governor McDonnell: Obama's Energy Malaise. Last week, while the eyes of the nation were focused on the U.S. Supreme Court as it ruled on Obamacare, the White House used the occasion to drop a significant decision into the news while giving it minimum possible attention. The Interior Department announced that Virginia will not be included in its final five-year program for Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas development. With the stroke of a pen, the Obama administration has dealt a blow to the economy of our state and the energy security of our country. There is a vast treasure trove of energy resources off our coast. The federal government conducted a study two decades ago that estimated the presence of at least 130 million barrels of oil and 1.14 trillion cubic feet of natural gas could lie in our deep coastal waters. History shows that such reserves, once they are fully explored, tend to be much larger than initial estimates suggest. The march of technology in energy extraction has already shown that we can inexpensively tap resources previously thought to be uneconomical. The Washington Post reports that "limited seismic work off Virginia's coast indicate that there is far more oil and natural gas offshore," adding that "no one has been able to show accurately what is there because of federal restrictions." Blocking development here is a job-killing decision. Once again, President Barack Obama has sided with the left wing of the Democratic Party, at the expense of new jobs and revenue in our state...Energy exploration, in Virginia and elsewhere in our country, is one such area. By blocking responsible offshore energy development, Obama has failed to meet his responsibilities when it comes to the well-being of American workers and families. Virginian Pilot

5. Repeal ObamaCare: Speaker Boehner: Congressional Republicans Resolved To Repeal ObamaCare. There’s no doubt that the president’s health care law is hurting our economy. Even before the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Obamacare, the president’s law was driving up health costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire. The court’s ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety, which House Republicans stand ready to do…On June 28, the Supreme Court confirmed that the centerpiece of the president’s health care law does not violate the Constitution because…it is a tax. The president and his allies celebrated the ruling. But when you look at the impact the law is having on our economy, there is nothing to celebrate. A recent report by Bloomberg News noted that the president’s health care law will impose an estimated $813 billion in new taxes on job creators and middle-class families, based on data from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. A U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey showed that 74 percent of small businesses contend that this law will make job creation at their companies even more difficult...There’s a lot of resolve among my House colleagues, and among the American people, to stop a law that’s hurting our economy, driving up the cost of health care and stunting job growth. Public opinion research consistently shows most Americans not only oppose Obamacare, but support fully repealing it. At my direction and that of our majority leader, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the U.S. House of Representatives on July 11 will vote on legislation that would fully repeal the president’s health care law to stop it from inflicting further harm on our economy. The House passed a similar bill last year, but it died in the Democratic-controlled Senate. By passing our repeal bill in July, we will give the Senate and Mr. Obama a second opportunity to follow the will of the American people. Washington Times

6. Health Care Continued: Senator McConnell: Join Us In Repealing This Colossal Mistake. For years, President Obama swore up and down that the failure to buy insurance would not result in a tax. And the reason for the claim was obvious: If Americans knew they’d have to choose between being forced to buy a health insurance policy mandated by the government or pay a tax, it never would have passed. Nor could the president claim he wasn’t raising taxes on the middle class…The Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate on one basis only: that a failure to buy the insurance results in a tax. According to the majority opinion, Congress does not have the constitutional authority to mandate insurance coverage for every American under the Commerce Clause, but it does have the power to tax. So the majority upheld this mandate on that basis. In the eyes of the court, the failure to follow the individual mandate will get you taxed, plain and simple, and according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, it hits the middle class hardest. That’s why last week’s decision turns the president’s campaign rhetoric on its head. According to the CBO, at least 77 percent of the people paying this tax will meet the president’s own definition of middle class…It’s time for Democrats to stop defending the indefensible and to join us in repealing this colossal mistake. The court’s decision gives us the clearest proof yet that this law has to go, so we can clear the way for common-sense, step-by-step reforms that protect Americans’ access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost. And that’s precisely what Republicans intend to do. Washington Times

Off The Beaten Path:

Mayor of Anchorage Takes Oath of Office From Honolulu

Man Offers Free Sunken Ship On Craigslist In Order To Avoid Legal Trouble

Driver Shouts “This Is My Beach” Repeatedly And Drives Car Into Water


GOP Health Care Reforms