The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Jessica Straus on

Good morning,


Parroting the President, yesterday Senator Reid advanced his proposal to hike taxes on small businesses – something even Senate Democrats won’t support. Small business owners and working families don’t want to see their taxes go up; 52 percent of Americans recently surveyed said they want the current tax rates extended for everybody. Even the fact that Senator Reid is calling his bill the “Middle Class Tax Cut” is an affront to small business owners who are struggling in this tough economy. Small business owners like Ohio's Arnie Kaufman spoke out about how President Obama’s tax hike will have devastating effects on our nation’s job creators. House Republicans will act to #stopthetaxhike and give small businesses the certainty they need to start growing and hiring again.  

This Day In History: In 1959, the “kitchen debate” between President Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev took place, as the two leaders debated communism and capitalism in a model kitchen that had been set up for a fair in Moscow.

Birthdays: Jennifer Lopez, Anna Paquin, Michael Richards, Pam Tillis, and Kristin Chenoweth.

Here Are The Top Stories We’re Watching:

1. Energy Focus: Chairman Hastings: President Obama’s Offshore Drilling Plan Must Be Replaced. The Congressional Replacement of President Obama’s Energy-Restricting and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan, would replace President Obama’s plan with an environmentally responsible, robust plan that supports new offshore drilling. This plan passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee with bipartisan support and will be considered by the full House this week. It sets up a clear choice between the president’s drill-nowhere-new plan and the Congressional replacement plan to responsibly expand offshore American energy production. President Obama’s plan doesn’t open one new area for leasing and energy production. The Atlantic Coast, the Pacific Coast and most of the water off Alaska are all placed off-limits. This is especially frustrating for Virginians who had a lease sale scheduled for 2011, only to have it canceled by President Obama. The president added further insult to injury by not including the Virginia lease sale in his final plan, meaning the earliest it could happen is late 2017. The president’s plan only offers 15 lease sales limited to the Gulf of Mexico and, very late in the plan, small parts of Alaska. It doesn’t open one new area for leasing and energy production. According to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, President Obama’s 15 lease sales represent the lowest number ever included in an offshore leasing plan. President Obama rates worse than even Jimmy Carter. The Hill

2. Regulatory Row: House Votes On Measure To Freeze Regulations Harming Small Business Job Creation. House Republican leaders have combined seven bills that would either halt regulations or otherwise revamp the regulatory process into a single legislative package and hope to bring it to the House floor as early as July 24, House aides told BNA July 16. The 78-page regulatory reform package—called the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act—includes a moratorium targeting all pending rules that could significantly affect the economy…The regulatory freeze bill was introduced by Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.). The bill to ban lame-duck regulations—the Midnight Rule Relief Act of 2012—was introduced by Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) and would bar President Obama and future presidents from proposing or finalizing economically significant rules in the final months of their presidencies. BNA

VIDEO: From Rep. Tim Griffin Regulation Nation: Excessive & Overly Burdensome Regulations Are Hurting Our Economy

3. National Defense: Thune, Sessions, Hensarling & Ryan: Senate Must Pass Sequestration Transparency. Despite this looming crisis, President Barack Obama and his administration have so far refused to level with the American people about the full impact of these defense cuts — though the cuts are due to take place in slightly more than five months. The White House has given conflicting reports on how the cuts will be implemented, and Congress’ requests for a clear outline of the administration’s plans are unanswered. Sequestration will have far-reaching effects on the lives of all Americans. As Panetta and our military leaders have made clear, U.S. national security is at risk if another round of draconian defense cuts is carried out. The president and his administration must understand this. So why would they not want to be transparent about the size and scope of the required cuts? The House passed our Sequestration Transparency Act last week by a nearly unanimous vote of 414 to 2. This bill would require the Obama administration to submit to Congress and the American people a detailed plan as to how sequestration will be applied to defense and non-defense programs within the federal budget. Members of Congress from both parties agree that this information is essential…Given the seriousness of the situation, the Senate should immediately join the House in calling on the president to enter the discussion; release a plan detailing the effects of sequestration, and begin a debate with Congress on the need to replace this sequester with deficit reduction through sensible reforms — not arbitrary cuts. Our nation’s security is at stake. The time to act is now. Politico

4. Tax Debate: Forbes: President Obama Ignoring Immediate Economic Fixes. Last month’s dismal jobs report underscored what many across the United States have known for sometime — the economic recovery remains damagingly substandard. With unemployment at 8.2 percent — and real unemployment (counting those who have left the labor force) in double digits — confidence in the economic prospects for 2012 are reaching new lows, while uncertainty among America’s businesses and jobs creators is at an all-time has been 25 years since President Reagan overhauled the corporate tax rate. Since that time, America’s competitors have steadily lowered their corporate tax rates. Now the United States finds itself with the highest corporate tax rates in the industrialized world and has one of the most complicated tax codes imaginable. In order to improve the competitiveness of U.S.-based businesses, we must lower the corporate tax rate from its current 35 percent to a rate that is, at worst, in line with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development average of 25 percent...The U.S. tax code is out of step with the rest of the world, and its complexities result in businesses spending billions of dollars a year simply to comply with the code. These are wasted resources that could be spent on investment, job creation or paying higher salaries. In fact, since 2000, the United States has lost 46 Fortune 500 company headquarters. Japan, the country with the second-highest corporate tax rate, has lost 39. Because capital is the most mobile of all economic factors, U.S. businesses are at a competitive disadvantage to countries with lower and simpler tax codes. The Washington Times

5. Health Care: One In 10 U.S. Employers To Drop Health Care Coverage. Around one in 10 employers in the U.S. plans to drop health coverage for workers in the next few years as the bulk of the federal health-care law begins, and more indicated they may do so over time, according to a study to be released Tuesday by consulting company Deloitte. The majority of Americans under age 65 who have health insurance get it through an employer. A big question about the law is whether companies will continue to offer coverage after a slate of changes starting in 2014 will give Americans more options for buying coverage without the help of an employer…Penalties for not providing health benefits after 2014 start at $2,000 per worker for companies with 50 or more full-time employees. Most companies already spend thousands of dollars more to cover each worker, although those costs come with tax breaks and can also reduce the wages that employees expect. Wall Street Journal

6. Foreign Policy: Leader Cantor: President Obama’s Trip To Israel Would Be 'Four Years Too Late.' President Obama's upcoming trip to Israel is four years too late, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Monday. "President Obama’s promise to visit Israel in his second term comes four years too late, and is emblematic of the lack of close coordination with Israel Candidate Obama led us to expect in 2008," Cantor said in a statement released by Mitt Romney's campaign. "It also does not make up for the many shortcomings of his Middle East policy, ranging from the fact that Iran continues to race forward with its nuclear weapons program to his administration’s haplessness in the face of Syria’s support of terrorism, threats to use weapons of mass destruction and support of instability in the region."Cantor's comments came after Obama's reelection campaign announced earlier in the day that Obama would visit Israel if he's elected to a second term in office. Obama previously visited the country as a senator while running for president in 2008. The Hill

7. Keeping Tabs: Poll: 72% Believe Small Business Owners Primarily Responsible For Their Own Success. Most Americans believe entrepreneurs who start businesses do more to create jobs and economic growth than big businesses or government. They also believe overwhelmingly that small business owners work harder than other Americans and are primarily responsible for the success or failure of their businesses. Seventy-two percent (72%) of Likely U.S. Voters believe that people who start small businesses are primarily responsible for their success or failure. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 13% disagree. Weekly Standard

Off The Beaten Path:

“Energy-efficient” light bulbs cause skin damage

Regulating sugary drinks in NY – a business killer

Woman calls 911 to complain about unattractive mug shot – gets arrested again




GOP Health Care Reforms