The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Jessica Straus on

Good Morning,

On May 10th the House passed our plan to replace the spending cuts in the sequester with responsible spending reforms, ensuring national defense and fiscal discipline remain our top priorities. Despite warnings from the President’s Secretary of Defense and the potential for millions of lost jobs, the President still has not offered his plan for an alternate path forward. With our national security, jobs, and essential domestic programs at stake, yesterday 414 House members joined together to require transparency from the President on his plan for implementing these devastating spending cuts. Rather than playing chicken with our nation’s defense, the President and Senate Democrats should work with us on a bipartisan solution to replace the sequester with common sense cuts.

This Day In History: In 1799, the Rosetta Stone was found in Egypt by a French soldier. The three languages on the stone slab provided the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics, and the British took ownership of the stone after the defeat of Napoleon in 1801.

Birthdays: Rachael Bade, Brian May, Stuart Scott, Rick Ankiel, Kathleen Turner, Ilie Nastase, and Thomas Sargent

Here Are The Top Stories We’re Watching:

1. State Of Play: House Overwhelmingly Passes Sequestration Transparency Bill, Obama Administration Still Has No Plan For Path Forward. The House July 18 overwhelmingly passed legislation to require the White House to provide more information on how it would carry out the planned across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration beginning in early 2013…“Today the House approved a bipartisan bill requiring the President to provide Congress and the American people with his plan for implementing the $110 billion in across-the-board cuts scheduled to occur on Jan. 2. [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid (D-Nev.) should clear this bipartisan bill for the President to sign as quickly as possible,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement after the vote…The White House had no immediate comment on the House bill's passage. The Office of Management and Budget could provide more clarity on its plans in its upcoming mid-session budget update, but no date for that report has been set…In prepared testimony, David Hess, president of Pratt & Whitney, said the sequester raises a problem for him as he tries to juggle workers between the company's work on the F-22 warplane, which is winding down, and its work on engines for the F-35 fighter, which would likely take a hit under sequestration. “With sequestration, it will be even more difficult to retain those highly skilled employees. Quite simply, my workforce is aging, specialized, and highly compensated. If and when we do ramp back up production, the learning curve for new employees is steep and that will affect production, quality, and training—all of which add time and cost,” he said. BNA

2. National Defense: Leader Cantor Fighting Sequestration Cuts To Protect Our National Security And American Jobs. “The number of job losses projected for our state could be devastating. There are projections out suggesting if these cuts at the Pentagon take place that Virginia, just by the end of 2014, could lose over 100,000 jobs. So we’re trying very hard to get the President to come to the table, to say we don’t want these cuts to happen. It not only affects the ability for our country to protect itself and our national interest and security interest, it means real jobs for us in the Commonwealth…We passed the bill yesterday, which was overwhelmingly bipartisan, seeking some guidance from the Administration as to what we should prepare for. Yesterday, the Governor came up to Washington in an attempt to try and lay out the real impact of these job cuts on Virginia, something that I don’t think any of us want to see happen. That’s why there’s a real sense of urgency around trying to make sure that we don’t allow this to happen. We in the House passed a measure back in May, which would have substituted the cuts, basically saying the cuts would not affect Virginia the way that these defense cuts will, and we should address them elsewhere in the budget.” WRVA

3. Sequestration Standoff: Editorial: The President Is Playing Politics With Our National Defense. Sequestration compounds the damage because the cuts would be automatic and indiscriminate. The Pentagon now concedes that funding for the war in Afghanistan would be hit, contrary to past assurances. So would current operations in the Persian Gulf. Training programs, equipment maintenance and military benefits are affected too. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin says the law obliges it to send layoff warnings as soon as October to most of its 123,000 workers—the kind of manufacturing jobs Democrats claim to love. After a decade of hard wars, the military has worn down its equipment and delayed upgrades and important maintenance. The end of the Iraq deployment and the withdrawal from Afghanistan offer an opportunity to modernize forces, which the Obama cuts will prevent. With China spending lavishly on its military and the Middle East unsettled, Americans may come to regret this as much as we did the rash cuts after previous wars. Mr. Obama knows all this from his own Pentagon's warnings, so why is he inviting a crack-up? The answer is that he wants to use GOP concerns about defense to bludgeon Republicans into accepting a huge tax increase. Republicans were unwise to accept the sequestration deal while leaving entitlements off the table, thus handing Mr. Obama more leverage. But perhaps they never expected that a Commander in Chief who swore an oath to safeguard America's national security would play such a dangerous game. It's not the first time this President's political cynicism has been underestimated. Wall Street Journal

4. Fiscal Cliff: Chairman Bernanke To Dems: Put The Fiscal House In Order. After Fed chief Ben Bernanke patiently explained how lousy the economy is, Senate Democrats said he needs to do even more in the way of stimulus. That's like arsonists faulting a fireman for how he fights a fire. Following the 2008 crisis, the Fed slashed interest rates to zero and boosted its balance sheet a jaw-dropping $3 trillion to give the economy a boost. Say what you will, the last three years have without question marked the most stimulative policy followed by the U.S. Fed ever. And whether you believe it has worked or not, the Fed did something. That's in stark contrast to Democrats in Congress. They blame Republicans for Democrats' own fiscal mistakes, while for three years failing even to produce a budget and now threatening to crash the economy with half a trillion dollars in ruinous tax hikes. The Obama administration is no better, issuing budget plans that don't even get Democratic support while, just this week, launching an attack on small businesses and vowing to hit entrepreneurs with higher taxes…Get to work? That's chutzpah on stilts. Congress has boosted spending from its long-term average of about 20% of GDP to close to 25%, while racking up $5 trillion in debt in just three years. Instead of cutting spending, rolling back regulations and slashing taxes — historically, the only way out of a recession — Democrats are pushing forward with tax hikes that Ernst & Young estimates will cost 710,000 jobs, slash $200 billion from GDP, lower wages by 1.8% and cause business investment to plunge. Investor’s Business Daily

5. Obamanomics: The Obama Theory Of Entrepreneurship, The Government Is Responsible For Your Success. The Obama theory of entrepreneurship is that behind every successful businessman, there is a successful government. Everyone is helpless without the state, the great protector, builder, and innovator. Everything is ultimately a collective enterprise. Individual initiative is only an ingredient in the more important work when “we do things together.” ...To redefine Steve Jobs as the product of the (necessary and unremarkable) infrastructure and government services around him is to devalue human creativity. The Obama formulation goes something like this: Steve Jobs couldn’t get to work every day without roads; he couldn’t drive safely on those roads without a well-regulated system of driver’s licenses; ergo, the San Jose, Calif., DMV practically built Apple. And the likes of Steve Jobs had better pay higher taxes to fund the foundations of their greatness. Needless to say, no man is an island. We are a product of our families, schools, and churches. Without the liberty and rule of law that characterize America, entrepreneurship would indeed be impossible. Any successful American who is not a patriot is a rank ingrate. But the president believes that among the highest expressions of patriotism are a 39.6 percent top individual tax rate and a 25 percent capital-gains rate. National Review

6. Red Tape: Regulations Always Have Costs, Sometimes The Costs Are Higher Than The Benefits. [W]e do have to admit that that cost is there and then decide, not assume that such regulations only stop bad things happening and don’t ever have any costs in the failure of good things to happen…That paid sick leave, health insurance, vacation time: they’re all things that we all I think would regard as desirable. But they all come with a cost as well. We cannot just legislate them into existence and assume that we get the benefits without there being any costs. For there obviously are costs: most importantly, those people who cannot get work as a result of those extra costs. How do we know there are people who cannot get work as a result of those extra costs? Because we can see that there are unemployed people who can get jobs when there are not those costs but cannot when there are. It is simply true that yes, there can indeed be benefits to regulation: but there are also always costs. And the correct amount of regulation is when the costs are, at the very least, no higher than the benefits. I am temperamentally inclined to insist that in this modern world we have many regulations where the costs are higher than the benefits. But that’s a point of view: all I insist is that there really are always costs and that we have to measure them before passing new regulations. Forbes

7. Tax Debate: Rep. Huizenga: No, Mr. President, The Private Sector Is Not 'Doing Fine'. Last month, the Commerce Department confirmed that GDP grew by an anemic 1.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012. The latest monthly jobs report confirmed that private sector growth has stagnated and that job creation is unable to keep up with population growth. Under Obama's failed economic model Americans have been forced to suffer through 41 consecutive months of unemployment above 8 percent, causing millions of Americans to give up looking for work altogether. On top of that, now Obama wants to raise taxes on already struggling small businesses. With job creators unable to expand and hire, families need all the help they can get. "Taxmaggedon," as it's been labeled, may just prove to be the real 2012 doomsday story. Stopping this onslaught will take not only legislative will, but a change in occupancy at the White House…That is why we support Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor's efforts to extend all the current tax rates, and by doing so ensure that no American faces a tax increase during these difficult economic times. It makes no economic sense to raise taxes on small businesses as millions of Americans struggle to find work. By preempting these scheduled tax hikes, we can add certainty for our job creators and prevent further reductions in family incomes. The Detroit News

8. Keeping Tabs: Gone Missing? President Obama Hasn’t Met With His Jobs Council In 6 Months. The White House Jobs Council -- a panel of prominent CEO's tasked with coming up with recommendations to spur job growth -- hasn't met for 6 months and have no plans to meet anytime soon. Maybe they think 8.2% unemployment is the best Obama can do. Politico: “The last official meeting of the 26-member President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness took place Jan. 17 in the White House complex”…The irony of a "Jobs Council' in an economy with 8.2% unemployment seems to have been lost on the White House. American Thinker

Off The Beaten Path:

New York City Reimagined As An Amusement Park

Dept. Of Energy “Unable To Locate” $500,000 Of Equipment Purchased With Stimulus Money

Japanese Company Offers Air-Conditioned Pants




GOP Health Care Reforms