The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Megan Whittemore on

Good morning,

Our hearts go out to all the victims, their families and the entire Colorado community following last night’s tragic shooting. We will keep the people of Aurora in our thoughts and prayers in the days ahead. In trying times like this, we see the best in our friends, neighbors and communities as they come together and stand strong to support their fellow Americans.

This Day in History: In 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, uttering his famous line “that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” as the Apollo 11 crew – Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins – made history. They left behind a plaque on the moon’s surface, reading: "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon – July 1969 A.D – We came in peace for all mankind."

Birthdays: Don Seymour, Ed Henry, Carlos Santana, Diana Rigg, Gisele Bundchen, Judy Greer, Stephen Strasburg, and Julianne Hough

Editor’s Note: Today is the fabulous Laena Fallon’s last day in Leader Cantor’s office. On behalf of Team Cantor and the entire Republican Conference we wish her the best of luck in her new gig. And if you haven’t already, be sure to let her know how much she will be missed!

Here Are The Top Stories We’re Watching:

1. Tax Debate: Tax Hikes On Job Creators “Worst Prescription Possible For Our Ailing Economy.” By arguing that it takes a village for anyone to succeed in a market, the President can argue for greater confiscation in tax policy, claiming that it will fuel a new level of success. A new study by Ernst & Young conducted on behalf of the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of independent businesses demolishes that argument – and raises a red flag on Obama’s tax policy for an economy already slipping backward toward recession…We need to find ways to stimulate growth, not suppress it. Obama’s argument that the village needs to confiscate more from those who invest and take risks to provide that growth is exactly the worst prescription possible for our ailing economy – and yet another demonstration that the President has learned nothing about small business or the economy after four years in office. Fiscal Times

2. National Defense: Speaker Boehner: We Have The Sequester Because Of President Obama, The House Has Already Acted. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday sought to blame the process of sequestration on President Obama and Democrats. Sequestration, which will lead to $1.1 trillion in automatic spending cuts to defense and non-defense spending in January unless Congress acts to prevent them, were agreed to as part of last summer’s deal to raise the debt ceiling. As the date for the cuts nears, lawmakers in both parties are growing more anxious over how the cuts would hit the economy. Boehner said Thursday that Republicans only agreed to the process of sequestration because of the demands of Obama and Democrats. He also faulted Obama for sabotaging the work of a supercommittee of lawmakers that sought to come up with an alternative budget-cutting plan. “Remember one thing, we have this sequester because the President of the United States, for his own convenience, only wanted to deal with the debt limit once before the election,” Boehner told reporters at his weekly press conference. “And it was the president and the Majority Leader of the Senate [Harry Reid D-Nev.] who promised to work with us to make sure we got an outcome out of the super committee. They did nothing to help, matter of fact, I would argue they worked to undermine the work of the supercommittee, and thus we have the sequester. “It is time for them to lead,” Boehner concluded. The Hill

3. The Obama Economy: Editorial: President Obama Continues To Push Economy Towards The Fiscal Cliff. With the economy showing new signs of further weaknesses, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke was virtually begging Congress this week to act. His pleas have become a familiar litany in frequent appearances on Capitol Hill, but they have fallen on deaf ears. The only branch of government that has the constitutional authority to reform fiscal policy to get the economy moving is irretrievably locked in a state of political paralysis until at least after the November elections. Making matters worse, President Obama hasn’t a clue about how to lead our country out of its deepening slump, let alone move Congress to action. His own impotent, warmed-over proposals have been discarded even by his own party. Obsessed with his own imperiled re-election, Mr. Obama has little if anything to say about the state of the economy except to acknowledge that “it’s tough out there” and too many people “are still out of work.” He’s made no serious proposals to get the economy growing again, and he’s offered no agenda to do so if he is re-elected. Democratic leaders remain mute about higher jobless levels and near-recessionary economic growth that is now below 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). If that’s not bad enough, Mr. Obama has thrown up further political obstacles to stronger growth — namely, his threat to veto any tax cut extension bill that does not raise taxes on wealthier Americans, small businesses and investors. The Washington Times

4. Jobs Report: Economy Mired In Weakness, Joblessness Surging. The slowdown in the U.S. economy persisted early in the third quarter with factory activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region contracting in July for a third straight month and new claims for jobless aid surging last week. Other reports on Thursday showed home resales slumped to their lowest level in eight months in June and a gauge of future economic activity slipped last month, more evidence the economy has slowed significantly in recent months. "The data confirm that the economy has cooled off pretty considerably late in the second quarter and early in the third quarter from the pace we saw earlier in the year," said Omair Sharif, an economist at RBS in Stamford, Connecticut. The economy has been hit by fears of deep government spending cuts and higher taxes next year, and troubles from the debt crisis in Europe, culminating in slower job growth, weak consumer spending and soft manufacturing output. Reuters

5. Obamanomics: Does President Obama No Longer Think Hiking Taxes In A “Fragile” Economy Hurts Jobs? At a press conference in the Capitol today, Senate Democrats continued to make their push to raise income taxes on individuals, as well as small businesses…But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid couldn't explain why he didn't pass this bill in 2009 or 2010 when Democrats had huge majorities in the House and Senate and could have actually sent it to President Obama to sign into law…In 2010, President Obama explained his opposition to raising taxes, saying, "I am just listening to the consensus among people who know the economy best. And what they will say is that if you either increased taxes or significantly lowered spending when the economy remains somewhat fragile, that that would have a destimulative effect and potentially you'd see a lot of folks losing business, more folks potentially losing jobs. That would be a mistake when the economy has not fully taken off." Weekly Standard

6. Pro-Growth: Kudlow: Free Enterprise And Entrepreneurs Will Propel Recovery. Great innovators like Thomas Alva Edison, Henry Ford, and Andrew Carnegie didn’t rely on government. There was hardly any of it in those days. More recently, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Larry Ellison used genius to put brand-new ideas into production. And then you’ve got a whole smaller class of entrepreneurs: the electricians, bakers, clothing designers, and financial planners. They don’t depend on government. It’s always been a question of the American genius of entrepreneurship that makes the country run. And that’s optimism. It’s not name-calling or negativism. But it is the reliance on government under Obama that has undermined the morale of our economy…Obama does not understand that his government-centered model is doing vastly more harm than good. That’s why, three-and-a-half years in, he’s got slumping numbers on jobs, retail sales, manufacturing, and home sales, and a GDP rate that could be 1 percent or less. We may be on the front end of another recession without even going through a real recovery… Food stamps are soaring. Social Security disability benefits are rising faster than jobs. And roughly half of U.S. households are receiving federal-transfer-payment assistance. This is a European-style model, not an American one. Then you have some of the dumbest fiscal ideas ever, like the new one from Senator Patty Murray. She wants all the Bush tax cuts to expire on December 31, 2012 — an event that will surely lead to recession — and then have Congress magically vote for middle-class tax cuts in 2013. This is incredibly foolish (and improbable). But like Obama, Murray has it in for successful earners, investors, and small-business owners. In order to tax them she is more than willing to risk recession. Raising the tax on the upper-two income brackets would slam the 3.5 percent of small-business owners who generate 53 percent of the small-business income, according to the Joint Tax Committee. And that’s where the jobs are. National Review

7. Keeping Tabs: White House Doubles Down On Why President Can’t Meet With His Jobs Council. The White House is doubling down on their defense of President Obama's jobs record, insisting that the president appreciates the work of his Jobs Council. Obama is "extremely appreciative" of his jobs council's ideas, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters. "This president is focused on job creation and economic growth and he is using every tool in his tool box to advance economic growth," Carney said. POLITICO reported Wednesday that, despite the 2012 campaign's focus on job creation, Obama's Jobs Council hadn't met in six months. Republicans have charged that the absence shows Obama's lack of commitment to job creation. "There's no specific reason except the president's obviously got a lot on his plate," Carney told reporters Wednesday. Politico

Off The Beaten Path:

California considers installing GPS in every vehicle, taxing for every mile

US partners with Mexico on food stamps

GSA event costs taxpayers $270,000, $20,000 spent on drumsticks


GOP Health Care Reforms