The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Jessica Straus on

Good morning –

With the economic recovery still on weak footing, the House remains focused on solutions that will spur economic growth and job creation. This week, the House will advance the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act to roll back regulations hindering small business job creation. In addition, the House will vote on the Congressional Replacement of President Obama's Energy-Restricting and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan to open our coasts to safe oil and natural gas production, bring down energy costs and spur job growth.

This Day In History: In 1988, Guns N' Roses made its big popular breakthrough when their first hit single, "Sweet Child O' Mine" entered the Billboard Top 40.

Birthdays: Erin Vogel, Daniel Radcliffe, Marlon Wayans, Allison Krauss, Woody Harrelson, Slash, Michelle Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Nomar Garciapara, and Don Imus

Here Are The Top Stories We’re Watching:

1. The Economy: Fragile Economic Recovery Shows Growing Cracks. When the job market began to crack in April, most economists said they weren't worried about the recovery. They're worried now. As the recovery slows, optimism is giving way to caution, with undercurrents of something darker. Economic forecasts are coming down all over Wall Street: Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank both cut forecasts of second-quarter growth to just over 1%. Companies from chipmaker Intel to Morgan Stanley have missed or lowered earnings forecasts — 99 companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 lowered second-quarter projections. In June, 22 of 30 U.S. economic data reports also missed forecasts, Merrill Lynch said. "We're worried about growth slowing down everywhere, and about it being self-reinforcing," said Peter Fisher, global head of fixed income for Black Rock, the world's largest asset manager. "I'm less worried about whether growth is slowing, and more worried about how much farther we have to go." USA Today

2. Small Biz: Richmond Small Business Owner To President Obama: ‘I Did Build My Business.’ I founded STR Software in May 1986, leaving a well-paying position at Hewlett-Packard. Although I loved HP, I wanted to pursue my passion to develop software products and create a customer base with recurring support revenue — and to have the personal freedom to work whenever and however I wanted. I am in my 27th year of business. It hasn't been easy, especially coming up with a "big idea," creating it, selling it and hiring people. I know what it is like to work long hours — while worrying about how to pay my people and vendors, keep ahead of the competition and satisfy the tax man… When I began the company, it was just me. So by definition, I certainly started it myself. I didn't get money from a bank or from an investor. I started the company with the confidence that made me willing to risk a year's worth of savings, even if I ended up not making a dime writing and selling software. I did all kinds of work at an hourly rate to generate my income so I could create a software product…The company pays its fair share of taxes, such as federal and state income, Social Security, Medicare and unemployment to all states in which I have employees, including Georgia, Maine and Virginia, as well as business property, license and sales taxes. STR Software was started with my ideas and passion. It has grown with the team I created. I pray our politicians realize that the money they spend comes from the ideas and hard work of individuals who create businesses that employ citizens who pay taxes! Richmond Times-Dispatch

3. Tax Debate: Fleisher: New CBO Report Shows Latest On Tax Fairness. You wouldn't know this from President Obama's rhetoric, but our tax system, according to a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), is incredibly progressive. Consider: The top 1% of income earners pay an average federal tax rate of 28.9%. The average federal tax rate on the top 20% is 23.2%. The 20% of taxpayers earning between $50,100 and $73,999 pay an average 15.1%, and so on down the line. The CBO report includes payroll as well as income taxes paid. There's also another way of looking at fairness, and that's the tax burden. Here, consider the top 20% of income earners (over $74,000). They make 50% of the nation's income but pay nearly 70% of all federal taxes. The remaining 30% of the tax burden is borne by 80% of the taxpayers, those who make less than $74,000. In short, this group's share of taxes paid, 30%, is lower than the share of income they earn, 50%...One reason our country is so divided is because the president keeps dividing us. If taxes need to be raised to fight a war or fund a cause, the president should ask everyone to pitch in. If the need is national, the solution should be national—and that includes all of us. But that's not how Mr. Obama governs. We learned during the 2008 campaign that he believes in spreading the wealth around. And recently we learned he doesn't believe that successful people made it on their own. Without the government, the president tells us, job creators and entrepreneurs would not be able to make it in America. It's really the other way around. Without job creators and the successful, the government wouldn't have any money. So next time Mr. Obama meets someone in the top 1% or even the top 20%, instead of saying they're not paying their fair share, he should simply say thank you. Wall Street Journal

4. Red Tape: Legislators Need To Step Into The Shoes Of Small Business Owners. The Heritage Foundation estimates that the burden of regulations enacted during Obama’s first three years is five times the cost of rules enacted during the first three years under George W. Bush. The yearly cost of regulatory compliance for Bush’s policies was $8.1 billion. It’s $46 billion for Obama’s policies…In 1993, former senator George McGovern, once considered the most liberal of Democratic candidates for president, wrote a piece about his experience attempting to run a small bed-and-breakfast in Connecticut. The red tape required by government severely hampered his capacity to earn a profit. He wished in retrospect that “I had known more firsthand about the concerns and problems of American businesspeople while I was a U.S. senator and later a presidential nominee. That knowledge would have made me a better legislator and a more worthy aspirant to the White House.” It took Obama to make George McGovern look like a conservative. National Review

5. Rules & Regs: Regulators Speak Out Against Red Tape. As commissioners at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, we are faced with regulatory decisions that affect over 15,000 products worth billions to the American economy each year. As good regulators, it is incumbent upon us to consider the costs and benefits of the rules we adopt. To that end, we challenge our colleagues at the CPSC to embrace the spirit of President Obama’s Executive Order 13579, which asked independent agencies to use cost benefit analysis and to conduct retrospective reviews to identify and fix or repeal rules that are ineffective or too burdensome. Unfortunately, at the CPSC, we are barely giving a head nod to the president’s directive. Last fall, a majority of commissioners affirmatively rejected using cost benefit analysis, even for major regulations…The end of this process should be a regulatory regime that protects the public’s health and safety while ensuring that American consumers, employers, manufacturers, and innovators face the lowest reasonable burden. The Hill

6. Real Impact: Government Regulations Are Top Reason Why Small Businesses Are Not Hiring, Costs Continue To Impact Businesses And Consumers. The next four years could bring a tidal wave of costly federal regulations impacting U.S. businesses and consumers, according to new analysis by the National Federation of Independent Business' coalition, Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations. There are currently 4,128 federal regulations in the pipeline which, if implemented, will impose costs of more than $515 billion on the U.S. economy...Over the past four years, regulations have cost American businesses and taxpayers more than $138 billion, according to NFIB's analysis of the Office of Management and Budget's semi-annual regulatory agenda and a recent report by the Heritage Foundation. NFIB estimates that regulations under consideration in Washington could cost more than a half trillion dollars when implemented, quadrupling the cost of regulations finalized during the previous four years…Poll after poll demonstrates that regulatory burdens are a top reason why small businesses are not hiring at pace with previous years. In fact, a Gallup poll earlier this year found 85 percent of small businesses surveyed weren't hiring, and about half cited government regulations as the reason. Sacramento Bee

7. Energy Focus: Heavy Handed Regulations Are Strangling The Energy Sector. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson is issuing carbon-dioxide regulations that will drive coal-based electricity out of existence and make cars even more expensive. Belatedly realizing that pursuing $8 gasoline is not politically astute, Mr. Obama and many Democrats are trying to recast themselves as friends of consumers, at least until November, by backing a few select oil and gas projects while strangling other projects and entire industries in miles of regulatory red tape…Interior Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar says drilling proponents live in “a world of fairy tales” and sends helicopters out to find 28 ducks that died when they landed in oil field waste pits. Then he proposes regulations that would allow wind-turbine operators to kill hundreds of bald and golden eagles annually, without penalty, and fast-track wind and solar projects that would severely impact wildlife habitats and scenic areas. Mr. Obama’s EPA issued 588 pages of new rules to over regulate hydraulic fracturing, which has been the only reason American oil and gas production has increased under Mr. Obama’s watch. Meanwhile, EPA, Interior and other federal agencies are issuing extreme, often conflicting, environmental regulations that do little or nothing for human health or the environment, delay oil and gas production, saddle consumers with billions of dollars in extra expenses, drive up pump prices, impair job creation and deprive America of billions in bonus, royalty and tax revenues. Washington Times

8. Keeping Tabs: House Leverages Legislative Process Through Social Media With Citizen Cosponsor App. What if voters could express approval for legislation making its way through Congress just as simply as clicking “like” on a video of cute baby seals shared on Facebook? House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has quietly developed a Facebook app for constituents to do just that, allowing them to track legislation and “cosponsor” bills with one click. “New media is to me another place for people to express opinions, share ideas and come together. And it’s just been an unbelievable connector for people around the world,” the Virginia Republican said in an interview with Buzzfeed, adding that he “look[s] at it as an outlet, and really an interactive forum so that we have a chance to engage.”…The Citizen Cosponsor app aims to deliver some of that shared experience. It’s built on top of Facebook’s Open Graph — which services like Spotify, Pinterest and Farmville use to connect people. Users who install the app can sign up for alerts on specific measures before Congress to track their progress, and can comment on and “cosponsor” bills, which posts an item about the bill on the user’s Facebook Timeline. Cantor also said that social media has also had “upped the standard for conduct. I mean, you better be on your toes and you better realize no back room deals, no secrecy, it is transparency…it’s realness.”…According to Cantor’s digital director Matt Lira, the app is explicitly designed to be bipartisan in nature, and will not feature news alerts to users news feeds that include press releases, partisan floor statements or other ideologically tainted material. Cantor is “limiting it to straight information” on a bill’s floor status, committee hearings and votes. “By having a more inclusive and transparent legislative process, the hope is that we can avoid ever having those errors in bills,” said Lira…Those participating in the beta test said they are pleased with the app so far. BuzzFeed

Off The Beaten Path:

Snow Globes Shake-Up, TSA To Allow Them On Planes

Justin Bieber’s Pro-Life Stance

Disney & Reagan Partner At Presidential Library


GOP Health Care Reforms