The Leader's Ledger

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While it has been clear over the past 42 months that President Obama doesn’t understand how to create an environment for economic growth and job creation, this weekend the President clarified his idea of what makes the economic tick: a Fairy Godmother government.According to the President, “if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else…Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.” The President said nothing of the hardworking taxpayers who finance every government venture or the small business owners and entrepreneurs who've taken a risk to drive job creation, innovation and growth. 

This Day In History: In 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, establishing Washington, D.C. as the capital of the United States.

Birthdays: Rep. Mike Rogers, Amanda Henneberg, Lila Ibrahim, Will Ferrell, Corey Feldman, Michael Flatley Yesterday: Katie Patru, Paul Kane

Here Are The Top Stories We’re Watching:

1. State Of Play: Republicans Ask President Obama To Deal With Devastating Defense Cuts. In a letter to Obama Friday, the top House and Senate Republican leaders said the White House was ignoring the threat of sequestration, calling on the president to work with Congress to find a solution to the $500 billion cuts each to defense and non-defense spending. The letter from Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) was the latest Republican effort to blame Obama for the looming cuts…“The sequester will have a significant impact on our national security and other domestic programs — such as medical research and special education — and yet the White House is now holding our troops and other important programs hostage in order to foist tax increases on small businesses,” the Republican congressional leaders wrote. The Hill

2. National Security: Sequester Already Hurting Defense Readiness And Responsiveness. Defending Defense, a group made up of the Foreign Policy Initiative, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Heritage Foundation, just published…a joint paper that examines how the looming threat of even deeper defense cuts is already starting to effect the defense industrial base’s readiness and responsiveness to international military-technological competition…Unless the President and Congress change current law, the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces soon will face an indiscriminate, across-the-board cut of more than $500 billion over the next decade. Known as “sequestration,” this massive reduction in defense spending comes in addition to the $487 billion in long-term military cuts already proposed by President Obama this year. Civilian and military leaders have repeatedly warned of the dangers of these deep defense cuts. In a November 2011 letter, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta cautioned lawmakers that sequestration cuts will be “devastating” to national defense, yielding “[t]he smallest ground forces since 1940,” “a fleet of fewer than 230 ships, the smallest level since 1915,” and “[t]he smallest tactical fighter force in the history of the Air Force.” Moreover, General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, bluntly told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 2012, “I am prepared to say that sequestration would pose unacceptable risk” to national security. Weekly Standard

3. Obama Economy: Americans Fleeing The U.S. To Find Work. In the Obama economy, according to news reports this year, blue-collar Americans are fleeing north by the thousands to find work, Mexican immigrants are returning to their home country to find work because the prospects are so bad here, and more of America’s wealthiest are fleeing to Asia to protect their assets from the reach of the U.S. government. Meanwhile, consumer confidence is down for the second straight month. “The greatest concern to consumers is that wage and job growth will remain depressed over the foreseeable future, and that these meager gains are likely to be further diminished in the years ahead by rising taxes and benefit cutbacks,” Richard Curtin, who directed the Reuters/University of Michigan survey of consumers, said last week. President Obama offers nothing that will reverse these trends and bring employment and investment back to the United States. So he tries to distract the people by calling Romney an outsourcer. The irony is that America will continue losing jobs and workers to other countries, with no end in sight, if Obama’s trick works. Union Leader Editorial

4. Writing On The Wall: So Much For Hope & Change, President Obama Admits He Failed To Fix Washington. Four years after running a campaign in which he vowed to change the culture of Washington, President Obama says Washington "feels as broken as it did four years ago." "And, if you asked me what is the one thing that has frustrated me most over the last four years it's not the hard work, it's not, the enormity of the decisions, it's not the pace, it is that I haven't been able to change the atmosphere here in Washington to reflect the decency and common sense of ordinary people - Democrats, Republicans and Independents - who I think just want to see their leadership solve problems," told CBS's Charlie Rose in an interview that aired this morning. "And there's enough blame to go around for that." USA Today

5. Demonizing Success: In Virginia, Obama Dashes American Dream, Suggests Nobody Achieves Success Alone. President Obama this weekend appeared to dash the America Dream cornerstones of hard work and self-enterprise in a pitch to exclude America’s high wage-earners from a tax break, telling successful people they “didn’t get there on your own.” Obama’s comment Friday during a campaign stop in Roanoke, Va., came just days after he urged Congress to extend tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration only to families earning less than $250,000 annually – part of his argument that the wealthy have an obligation to pay more to trim the deficit. “There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me because they want to give something back,” the president said. “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own...If you’ve got a business you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”…The president continued Friday outside a fire station in the southwest Virginia city, saying, “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help…Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive…Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.” FOX News

6. Small Biz: We Need To Get Government Out Of The Way To Jump Start Small Business Growth. The June figures show that the unemployment rate remains at 8.2 percent. There are 12.7 million Americans unemployed. Almost 42 percent have been unemployed for six months or more. The rate of underemployment is 14.9 percent. True, more than 80,000 jobs were added to the economy. However, because we need to add almost double that in jobs a month to accommodate new entrants to the job market, we did not create enough jobs. The US has lost 8.8 million jobs and only added 3.8 million, a deficit of 5 million jobs. If we ever want to see the unemployment rate down at 6 percent, we will have to create 361,000 jobs a month for three years. In fact, the official jobless rate does not count the 88 million Americans who have given up looking for work or have retired even though they would rather be working. There may be worse to come…So, how can we jump-start the economy and create millions of good jobs? Well, it won’t be easy. And it will take time to undo the damage of the last five years…First, we must stop government from trying to do “more” to stimulate business. Please. Just stop and get out of our way and leave us alone! Let us do what we know how to do best. Government doesn’t need to do more. As most entrepreneurs know, the government’s definition of “more” to them means “roadblocks” to us. Government cannot continue to hamstring business with more and more regulation. American businesses have been squeezed enough…more than enough. Small businesses, in particular, need some relief. If we need anything from government it is to help create a positive business environment that encourages us to increase our business, generate more profits in order to encourage business expansion so we can then afford to hire more people. Forbes

7. New Poll: Majority Of Americans Want Tax Cuts For All. A majority of Americans want the Bush tax cuts extended for everyone, despite a strong push by President Barack Obama to eliminate them on higher incomes, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll. The poll found 52 percent of registered voters saying they want all the tax cuts extended, including the tax cuts for incomes above $250,000, while 43 percent want the cuts extended just for incomes below that threshold…Yet some of the strongest support for extending all of the tax cuts came from some of Obama’s most reliable supporters, such as young voters, minorities and the poor and working class. Young voters ages 18-29 favored tax cuts for everyone by a margin of 69-29, the largest margin of any age group. Latinos favored tax cuts for all incomes by 62 percent to 36 percent. Whites supported tax cuts for every income by 50 percent to 44 percent. African-Americans split, 48 percent for limiting the tax cuts to incomes below $250,000 and 47 percent for extending them to all incomes. And those making less than $50,000 supported tax cuts for all incomes by 53 percent to 41 percent. McClatchy

8. Tax Debate: President Obama’s Tax On “The Rich” Is Really A Tax On Small Business. President Obama claims that his tax policy targets the rich while offering relief for the middle class by placing a $250,000 ceiling on tax cuts. What he doesn't mention is that many of these so-called "rich" are actually small business owners. In effect, he is proposing to increase taxes on the very people who have been driving U.S. job creation while struggling to survive in a weakened economy. Small business owners are often unfairly grouped with the extremely affluent because of the way they file their taxes. Due to their size, most small businesses file as sole proprietors or partnerships—in fact, approximately 85 percent of small businesses file income taxes as individuals. This means that, while a small business owner's personal income may seem large, the majority of the money is actually funneled directly back into the business. By targeting these individuals, President Obama is not only increasing taxes for nearly half of America's small businesses, he is also making it harder for the middle class to be able to find the jobs they so desperately need. US News

9. ObamaCare & Small Biz: ObamaCare ‘Flies In The Face’ Of Job Creation. "I worry about the health care legislation more than anything else," said Joyce, who operates his second-generation business in Richmond. "I can't get my arms around what the costs are going to be and what the penalties are going to be." For businesses with 50 or more employees, the potential penalties may be less than the cost of providing health insurance to their workers, especially if those employees qualify for subsidies or tax credits in an exchange that will be run either by the state or federal government. "I could save $300,000 to $400,000 a year if I no longer pay health insurance and tell them to go to the exchange," said Gail W. Johnson, president and CEO of Rainbow Station, the Innsbrook-based owner of three Richmond-area preschools that together employ about 200 people. It's still a hard choice for an employer who prides herself on taking care of workers who don't draw big paychecks. "It becomes a moral issue: Do I do this to my employees?" Johnson asked. "I highly suspect the coverage they have now is much richer than what the exchange would provide." Rainbow Station also has franchise owners for other locations in Virginia, North Carolina and Texas. With about 50 employees each, they'll have to decide whether it makes sense to add jobs and come under the law's requirement to provide health insurance to workers. "It flies in the face of 'we have to create jobs,' " Johnson said. Richmond Times-Dispatch


Off The Beaten Path:

Interesting Study On Why Women Watch The Olympics

Hollywood Filmmaker Plans Obama “Imperial Presidency” Documentary

Burger King Bacon Sundae Taste Test


 





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