The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Jessica Straus on

Good Morning,

How is President Obama spending his time? Well, he’s not spending much time at his day job and he’s not meeting with his Jobs Council to hear their ideas on how to grow the economy. At a time when economic confidence keeps dropping, small businesses aren’t growing and hiring, and our military faces the threat of enormous cuts that threaten national security; the President spends the majority of his time campaigning to hike taxes on small businesses that will reportedly eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs. Today, the House is bringing a bipartisan bill to the floor asking the President to get back to work and provide the American people with his plan for implementing the devastating cuts in the sequester. And in the coming weeks, the House will act to stop the tax hike on working families and small businesses. Maybe when the President takes a breather from the campaign trail, he can focus on getting the economy moving again.

This Day In History: In 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated for his third term as president, ending the American tradition of serving no more than two terms, a precedent set by George Washington. The 22nd Amendment, limiting the president to only two terms, was passed by Congress in 1947.

Birthdays: Olivier Knox, Pepper Pennington, Vin Diesel, Nelson Mandela, Richard Branson, James Brolin, Kristen Bell, Joe Torre, John Glenn, Martha Reeves, Nick Faldo, Elizabeth McGovern, Ricky Scaggs, and Steve Forbes

Here Are The Top Stories We’re Watching:

1. National Security: Automatic Across-The-Board Cuts Will Threaten Jobs And National Defense. A defense industry trade group warned Tuesday that the sequester cuts set to take effect next year could cost the country more than 2 million jobs and $215 billion from the nation’s GDP in 2013 alone. The blow to the economy could add 1.5 percent to the jobless rate and take $109.4 billion from personal wages earned by workers, according to a new report commissioned by the Aerospace Industries Association. It examined how the sequestration would affect defense and domestic programs. “If [the cuts] are allowed to occur as currently scheduled, the long-term consequences will permanently alter the course of the U.S. economy’s performance, changing its competitive position in the global economy,” read the report, conducted by Stephen Fuller of George Mason University and Chmura Economics and Analytics. Examples of the job losses include 48,000 in the health care sector, nearly 99,000 in construction and 473,000 jobs in manufacturing. Sequestration will also deal a significant blow to the federal workforce, with more than 617,000 of those jobs at stake, the report said. Defense jobs account for just more than half of the total projected 2.14 million job losses. Politico

2. The Obama Economy: Study Shows President Obama’s Small Business Tax Hike Means Fewer Jobs, Reduced Output, Lower Investment. The Ernst and Young study looked at the impact of seeing the top marginal tax rates rise—but also studied the effects of a range of other proposals included in the president's budget and broader tax plans: This report examines four sets of provisions that would increase the top tax rates: The increase in the top two tax rates from 33 to 36 percent and from 35 to 39.6 percent; The reinstatement of the limitation on itemized deductions for high-income taxpayers (the "Pease" provision); The taxation of dividends as ordinary income and at a top income tax rate of 39.6 percent and increase in the top tax rate applied to capital gains to 20 percent; The increase in the 2.9 percent Medicare tax to 3.8 percent for high-income taxpayers and the application of the new 3.8 percent tax on investment income including flow-through business income, interest, dividends and capital gains. Here is what the accounting firm concluded would happen: Output in the long run would fall by 1.3 percent, or $200 billion, in today's economy; Employment in the long-run would fall by 0.5 percent, or roughly 710,000 fewer jobs, in today's economy; Capital stock and investment in the long run would fall by 1.4 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively; Real after-tax wages would fall by 1.8 percent, reflecting a decline in workers' living standards relative to what would have occurred otherwise. ABC

3. Red Tape: Regulations And High Taxes Are Roadblocks To Growth. With all the iPads and Facebook and cloud-computing growth, why is unemployment still 8.2% and job creation stalled? My theory is that productivity is always happening but swims upstream against those that fight it. Unions, regulations and a bizarre tax code that locks in the status quo. In good times, no one notices. But in slow-growth economies, especially in the last 10 years, regulations and hiring rules and employer mandates and environmental anchors have had a cumulative dampening effect on productivity. How can government do the right thing to help productivity and the employment it fosters? Get out of the way. Every government-mandated low-flow toilet, phosphorous-free dishwasher detergent, CFL light bulb, and carbon-emission regulation is another obstacle on the way to a productive, job-creating economy that produces things consumers really want. Wall Street Journal

4. New Poll: Economic Confidence At Lowest Level Since January. A new index from Gallup shows America's confidence in the economy is at its lowest level since January of this year. Confidence is higher than it was throughout 2011, but the spike this year appears to be on a downward trend… Gallup also notes that the drop in confidence is driven mostly by self-described Democrats: Economic confidence fell nine points among Democrats (from +13 to +4), compared with a two-point drop among Republicans (-54 to -56), while independents' confidence rose slightly, from -30 to -27. Despite this, Democrats remain the most upbeat about the economy -- as is expected under a Democratic president -- while Republicans are substantially negative and independents fall roughly in between. Weekly Standard

5. Slamming Success: Business Owners Are Not Just Lucky, They Build Things Of Value. For The President To Suggest Otherwise Is Insulting, And Revealing. During a campaign swing through Roanoke, the president declared, "If you've got a business — you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." The comments quickly became campaign fodder, and will remain so — quite rightly — through Nov. 6. Obama was trying to make a broader point about societal interconnectedness: There is no such thing as a self-made man (or woman), he was trying to say. Everyone benefits from mentors, social institutions, public infrastructure and so forth. This is a blindingly obvious point…Yes, everyone who succeeds was blessed along the way with a good teacher, an inspiring role model, a business mentor or simply a decent education in the public schools. But here's the thing: Nearly everyone enjoys the fruits of such blessings. Only a very select few make maximum use of them. The Internet was indeed born as a government program (through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). Millions of people now use it daily. But how many of them have used it to create a fantastically successful business like Amazon, eBay or PayPal? Only a handful. If anything, Obama has gotten the dynamic exactly backward. It's the daring entrepreneurs who create value for the rest of society — not the other way around. People who succeed in business are not just lucky winners of a lottery. They are not passive recipients of government programs. They are, in fact, the people who pay the bulk of taxes that underwrite such programs, and they expect a return on that investment, not a lecture from a politician about why they need to do even more. They did indeed build something of value. For the president to suggest otherwise is insulting — and revealing. Richmond Times-Dispatch

6. Ideological Candor: President Obama’s Revealing Jobs Speech: You Can’t Succeed Without Government. The Presidential election has a long way to go, but the line of the year so far is President Obama's on Friday: "You didn't build that." Rarely do politicians so clearly reveal their core beliefs. Speaking in Roanoke, Virginia, Mr. Obama delivered another paean to the virtues of higher taxes on the people he believes deserve to pay even more to the government...This burst of ideological candor is already resonating like nothing else Mr. Obama's said in years. The Internet is awash with images of the President telling the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs and other innovators they didn't build that. Kevin Costner's famous line in "Field of Dreams," as adapted for Mr. Obama: "If you build it, we'll still say you didn't really build it." Beneath the satire is the serious point that Mr. Obama's homily is the soul of his campaign message. The President who says he wants to be transformational may be succeeding—and subordinating to government the individual enterprise and risk-taking that underlies prosperity. The question is whether this is the America that most Americans want to build. Wall Street Journal

7. Small Biz: Business Owners Outraged At Obama Statement On Small Business. Phil Derrow, owner of OTP Industrial Solutions in Columbus, Ohio, said he found the President’s comments to be “appalling.” “Anyone understands how the system works,” Derrow said. “We all benefit from government roads, and fire and police departments and the legitimate purposes of government. But for him to say, ‘You didn’t build that, someone else made that happen,’ I don’t see how that can be blown out of proportion. It deserves outrage.” Derrow, who has 500 employees and is nearing his 50th anniversary as a business owner, said that while he thinks Obama is a smart man, his understanding of business is severely lacking. “I think he said exactly what he believes,” Derrow said. “I was truly shocked. I know Elizabeth Warren has made similar comments. Nobody disputes the public benefits we all get from public service, but the notion that somebody else magically creates business is ludicrous and offensive.” Jerry Pierce, owner of Restaurant Equipment World in Orlando, Fla., agreed with Derrow. “This is highly insulting and arrogant,” Pierce said. “When I started my business, it took me 10 years to save $10,000 and my first office was a desk made of a door and two filing cabinets. Government wasn’t there to help me. Obama has no idea how to run a business.” Lackey said he would prefer both Romney and Obama focusing less on what the other is doing on the campaign trail and shifting their focus to creating actionable plans. “It’s not just, ‘Here’s what I have done,’” he said. “If you say you are going to create two million jobs, tell me specifically, how.” Fox Business

8. Keeping Tabs: House Votes To Strengthen Ties With Israel, Sends Bill To Obama. The House late Tuesday afternoon approved legislation by voice vote that reaffirms U.S. strategic and military ties with Israel. The bill restates the U.S. commitment to supply Israel with arms to defend itself, and pledges to fight anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations. The United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, S. 2165, is an amended version of a House bill that was approved back in May. The Senate before approving the bill in late June added language that extends the authority of the United States to store weapons in Israel that it could give to Israel in an emergency…House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who are fighting on a range of issues this year, both spoke in strong support of the bill and stressed their ongoing commitment to thwart Iran's efforts to undermine Israel. "Today ... we will send this bipartisan bill to the president and deliver the message that during this pivotal and dangerous period in the Middle East, the United States stands tall for our ally Israel," Cantor said. The Hill

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France Raises Taxes, Citizens Flee

Chevy Volt Costs Taxpayers $250,000 Per Car


GOP Health Care Reforms