The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Jessica Straus on

Good morning,

This week the House will vote to stop the tax hike on all Americans and put forward our plan for pro-growth tax reform. In contrast, the President and his party are pushing tax hikes on small businesses and working families. Doubling down on failure, House Democrats have demanded a vote on the President’s plan. With this vote, Democrats will make it clear to the American people that their only plan is a disastrous tax hike that will cost the economy 700,000 jobs and take more money from working families and small businessmen and women.

This Day In History: In 2003, the last of 21,529,464 Volkswagen Beetles built since World War II rolled off the production line at Volkswagen's plant in Puebla, Mexico. One of a 3,000-unit final edition, the baby-blue vehicle was sent to a museum in Wolfsburg, Germany, where Volkswagen is headquartered.

Birthdays: Rep. Quico Canseco, Katherine Helm, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lisa Kudrow, Jaime Pressly, Hilary Swank, Paul Anka, Tom Green, and Bud Selig

Here Are The Top Stories We’re Watching:

1. State Of Play: House Will Vote This Week To Stop The Tax Hike On All Americans. House Republicans plan to cap their summer-long focus on economic issues this week by voting to extend the Bush-era tax cuts to all Americans. After months of votes to repeal the 2010 health-care law and regulations enacted by the Obama administration in the last three years, GOP aides said they wanted to end the summer with a focus on tax cuts in order to carry this week’s momentum on to the campaign trail during the August recess. The GOP proposal would extend all tax cuts for another year. It differs significantly from a plan passed last week by the Democratic-controlled Senate that extends the cuts only for households and individuals earning $250,000 or less. Despite those differences, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said he plans to permit a vote on the Democratic plan, which is expected to fail in favor of the GOP bill. Washington Post

2. Stalled Economy: Uncertainty Preventing Businesses From Expanding And Hiring. The U.S. economy slowed sharply in the second quarter, growing just 1.5% as consumers slashed spending and businesses grew more cautious about hiring and investing, underscoring that an already wobbly recovery is losing even more steam…That downward slope in growth is worrisome to economists. As the economy loses steam, a pullback can become self-reinforcing as businesses and consumers worry about the future. The slowing economy, along with government data showing the recovery has been weaker than thought, raises the specter that a sudden shock—such as an escalation of Europe's crisis, or next year's looming tax increases and spending cuts—could shove the U.S. back into recession…The latest report adds to recent signals that could push the Federal Reserve toward taking new steps to spur growth. Not only is growth slow, Friday's report showed inflation running below the Fed's 2% objective. Fed officials will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday to consider their next steps…"The economy is kind of being strangled," said Bob Baur, chief global economist at Principal Global Investors. "We underestimated how much uncertainty may have contributed to a lack of desire to expand and hire." Mr. Baur expects 2% to 2.5% growth in the second half of the year but has "grown more cautious," he said. Wall Street Journal

3. Obamanomics: It’s a Miracle The Economy Is Still Growing Under Obama’s Stifling Agenda. Investors aren't investing or are sending their money abroad because the President is promising to wallop them with huge tax increases on January 1. Businesses aren't purchasing as much new equipment, or hiring as many workers, because they don't know what the real costs will be from new regulation and ObamaCare. A new report by the Progressive Policy Institute—run by Democrats—finds that if business investment had tracked the normal trend rate during this recovery, investment would be $1.4 trillion higher. The report fingers regulation on business and American investors finding better returns abroad. Yet Mr. Obama's solution is to raise the capital gains and dividend tax rates. In this policy environment, the miracle is that the U.S. economy is still growing as much as it is. That is a tribute to the natural desire of Americans to better themselves, to create the next Apple, or to discover the next technique for pulling natural gas out of shale rock. Wall Street Journal

4. Dem Delusion: Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz Defends Dismal Economic Numbers. ”We have made progress from where we were when President Obama took office. The economy had just contracted almost by 9%. Now we've begun to turn things around and had our 12th straight quarter of growth. We have a long way to go. We need to make sure that we can continue to move forward in creating jobs and getting the economy turned around. The best way to do that is make sure we can get Congress to adopt the American Jobs Act that the President proposed, which would ensure we could create a million jobs right now, that we could take the bill the Senate just passed to extend the middle class tax breaks. That ball is in Republican Speaker John Boehner’s court. If we make sure we can provide certainty to the middle class, extend those middle class tax breaks right now, adopt the President's Jobs Act, then we will continue to make the kind of progress we need to have.” CBS Face The Nation

5. New Poll: Obama Tax Hikes Not A Priority For Most Americans, Jobs, Deficits, Government Corruption Top List. Creating good jobs, reducing corruption in the federal government, and reducing the federal budget deficit score highest when Americans rate 12 issues as priorities for the next president to address. Americans assign much less importance to increasing taxes on wealthy Americans and dealing with environmental concerns…Americans' to-do list for the president on Jan. 20, 2013 -- whether it be Obama or Romney -- includes creating good jobs, reducing government corruption, and reducing the federal budget deficit. Supporters of both candidates agree about the importance of jobs and corruption, while the deficit is a higher priority for Romney supporters than Obama supporters. In turn, Obama supporters believe the next president should have healthcare, Social Security and Medicare, and public education among his highest priorities. Job creation has certainly been and will continue to be a major topic during the remainder of the campaign. And both candidates will surely need to outline their plans for reducing the federal budget deficit. However, it is unclear whether government corruption will become a major issue in the campaign, even though Americans see reducing it as an important goal. Gallup

6. Small Biz: Virginia Small Business Owner To The President: We The Businesses Built This. In the president's view, it's not the hard work or the talent of entrepreneurs that have built their businesses; it's some combination of luck and government support. Immediately after arguing to business people that somebody else made their success happen, Obama didn't point to their families or their workers or their investors. Instead, he highlighted the government's contribution. He said, "The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet." The president's belief that government makes success happen helps to explain his hostility toward business, as well as his latest proposed tax increase. Obama believes that small businesses owe the government, and he believes they have not been paying their fair share. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are businessmen. Some of us built those businesses from nothing. Others added to what their fathers and grandfathers created. But we can promise you one thing — it was not the government that made our success possible, and this president hasn't made things any easier. The reams of new regulation that Obama has piled on top of our businesses don't make it easier to keep the doors open. The new burdens imposed by ObamaCare don't encourage us to hire new workers, and the president's proposals for yet more taxes will only make it more difficult to meet a payroll and support our families… Government didn't build this country. Its people did. We continue to build it today. We aren't coming to Obama with our hands out. We don't need his help. All that we ask is that he get out of our way. And if he does that, then we will do what he's spent his entire first term failing to accomplish — get this economy back on its feet and restore the prosperity of America. Roanoke Times

7. ObamaCare Update: Doctor Shortage Likely to Worsen With Health Care Law. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that in 2015 the country will have 62,900 fewer doctors than needed. And that number will more than double by 2025, as the expansion of insurance coverage and the aging of baby boomers drive up demand for care. Even without the health care law, the shortfall of doctors in 2025 would still exceed 100,000. Health experts, including many who support the law, say there is little that the government or the medical profession will be able to do to close the gap by 2014, when the law begins extending coverage to about 30 million Americans. It typically takes a decade to train a doctor…The health care law increases Medicaid’s primary care payment rates in 2013 and 2014. It also includes money to train new primary care doctors, reward them for working in underserved communities and strengthen community health centers. But the provisions within the law are expected to increase the number of primary care doctors by perhaps 3,000 in the coming decade. Communities around the country need about 45,000. New York Times

8. National Defense: Senator Ayotte: Dems Using Military As ‘Bargaining Chip’ In Fight Over Sequester Cuts. A freshman Republican senator accused the White House and congressional Democrats of using the military as a bargaining chip in a debate over spending cuts. "It makes me sick that some in Washington, particularly some of the Senate Democrats want to play, and even our president unfortunately, want to use our military as a bargaining chip," said Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday. Ayotte said House and Senate GOP leaders have asked President Obama to come to the table to figure out how to resolve the issue of sequestration, a plan passed by Congress a year ago that would cut $1 trillion in spending over 10 years, including $500 billion from defense. The Hill

9. Israel Policy: Leader Cantor: Pelosi Remarks About Jews 'Patronizing and Deeply Insulting'. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor fired back at Nancy Pelosi for her remarks about Republican Jews, calling the comments “patronizing and deeply insulting,” according to the Weekly Standard. Pelosi, the House minority leader, recently told Bloomberg News that Republican Jews are "being exploited." Responding to a question about whether President Barack Obama will do as well with Jewish voters this time around, Pelosi said, according to a transcript from the “Political Capital” show, “I think that he will, because the fact is when the facts get out. You know, as many of the Republicans are using Israel as an excuse, what they really want are tax cuts for the wealthy. So Israel, that can be one reason they put forth. Host Al Hunt then said, “That’s why some of the Republican Jewish supporters are really active.” To which Pelosi responded: “Well, that’s how they’re being exploited. And they’re smart people. They follow these issues. But they have to know the facts. And the fact is that President Obama has been the strongest person in terms of sanctions on Iran, which is important to Israel. He’s been the strongest person on whether it’s Iron Dome, David’s Sling, any of these weapons systems and initiatives that relate to Israel. He has been there over and over again.” The remarks left Cantor and other Republicans fuming. "It is both patronizing and deeply insulting for Nancy Pelosi to suggest any Jew is 'exploited' for their political beliefs or that support for Israel is somehow an 'excuse' for anything,” Cantor said, according to the Weekly Standard. “Such thinking diminishes the importance of issues affecting Jews everywhere." Newsmax

Off The Beaten Path:

Senators Join Set Of “Parks & Recreation” In Washington

Palin Visits Chick-fil-A

Team USA Hugs The First Lady

GOP Health Care Reforms