The Leader's Ledger

Posted by Jessica Straus on

Good morning,

Campaigning yesterday the President said his second term will be “geared towards how do we rebuild this economy.” The President has spent his first term proving to the American people that even when his party controlled Congress, the only thing on his agenda has been policies of spending, regulation and higher taxes that have led the economy further down the rabbit hole. House Republicans have forward our solutions to keep the economy strong, stop the tax hike on hardworking taxpayers and responsibly replace the pending cuts that will impact our national security and jobs. As Leader Cantor said today, “We support a pro-growth agenda to create jobs through small businesses and beyond. The other side is going to demonstrate that it supports higher taxes. The choice is clear, you either want growth or you want more taxes.”

This Day In History: In 1961, Six Flags Over Texas, the first of the Six Flags parks, opened. Its name refers to the six flags that have flown over the state of Texas across its history: France, Spain, Mexico, Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the United States.

Birthdays: Ed Gillespie, Tempestt Bledsoe, Adam Duritz, Robert Cray, Sam Mendes, Dom DeLuise, Joe Elliot, Taylor Negron, and Francis Scott Key

Here Are The Top Stories We’re Watching:

1. National Security: GOP Leaders To Reid: House Will Return in August if Senate Votes to Stop All the Tax Hikes, Stop Defense Cuts. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Mr. Boehner said Republicans only reluctantly agreed last year to include defense spending cuts in the deal that allowed President Obama to raise the debt ceiling. He said the GOP is now eager to work out an agreement that would head off the cuts, but he said Democrats are blocking that. “Translation: We’re putting this right at your doorstep. You own it. If Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama want to own a small business tax hike and a devastating cut to our national defense, they are now set up perfectly to do so,” Mr. Boehner told his House Republicans in a closed-door meeting, according to text his office released. Washington Times

Read the entire letter from Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, Whip McCarthy and Chairman Hensarling.

2. Pro-Growth: Rep Graves: Stop The Tax Hike On Small Businesses. This week, America will have the chance to observe two very different paths in Washington. One road would lead to increased taxes on small businesses, with further dragging down the economy; the other would lead to job creation by stopping a tax hike on the very entities most likely to invest and hire. Surprisingly, the President and Senate Democrats would like to let the lower rates expire for income above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples. Instead of increasing taxes on well-to-do individuals, allowing these tax rates to go up actually hits struggling small businesses. This plan would raise taxes on about 940,000 small businesses, according to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. This simply doesn’t make any sense. Why would anyone think that raising taxes on job creators in a sluggish economy is a good idea? CNBC

3. Tax Debate: Tsunami Of Tax Hikes Set To Hit The American People. A tsunami of tax hikes is set to hit the American people in 2013 if Congress fails to act. Here are some snapshots of how Taxmageddon affects the country, drawn from the research of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis (CDA). The Nation: $494 billion total tax increase on all Americans; Families: $4,138 average tax increase; Baby Boomers: $4,223 average tax increase; Millennials: $1,099 average tax increase; Low-Income Workers: $1,207 aver¬age tax increase; Retirees: $857 average increase; States: $1,929 (WV) to $5,161 (CT) range in average tax hikes per return; Congressional Districts: $1,236 (NY-16) to $13,951 (NY-14) range in average tax hikes per return. Clearly, Congress needs to take immediate action to “remove the uncertainty clouding jobs and family finances by removing the threat of Taxmageddon now.” Heritage

4. Small Biz: Rep. Tim Scott Visits South Carolina Small Business. Customers at the Piggly Wiggly in Moncks Corner were met with a surprise Friday, as U.S. Rep. Tim Scott spent two hours at the store bagging groceries and talking politics. Scott greeted customers and carried on casual, friendly conversations with staff and shoppers as he placed their groceries into plastic bags. This was the third installment of “Talkin’ Shop With Tim,” during which Scott works at a first congressional district business for a few hours to give local job creators and families a chance to share challenges they are facing and what he can do to help, according to a press releaseThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration redefined “restaurant” to include locations “where the sale of food is the primary business activity of that establishment,” thus including grocery stores and convenience stores under the definition, Smith added….Scott said grocery stores have profit margins of about two percent, and this extra burden will shrink that margin and result in the store having fewer employees. The regulation goes into full effect in January 2013, Scott said. “We’re trying to prevent this burden,” he said. “I owned a business for 15 years. I know what it costs to hire an employee.” “The sum total has an effect on us and all businesses,” Piggly Wiggly Director of Corporate Affairs Christopher Ibsen said. “Our profit margins are so small. It’s one or two percent in good times. We’re dealing in nickels and dimes.” The Berkley Independent

5. ObamaCare Update: Company Won’t Expand Due To ObamaCare Tax. An Indiana company's decision to scrap expansion plans due to a looming tax on medical devices has renewed pressure on the Senate to consider a House-passed bill repealing the tax…Companies in the medical device industry for months have been calling on Congress to strip the provision. Amid the complaints, though, several firms have already taken steps to cut back U.S. investment out of concern for the tax's impact. Cook Medical, an Indiana-based medical equipment manufacturer, last week said it's nixing plans to open five new plants in the next five years -- claiming the tax will cost between $15 million and $30 million a year, cutting into money that would otherwise go toward expanding into new facilities in the Midwest. "Unfortunately, we have had to shelve these expansion plans and look overseas for that," Allison Giles, vice president for federal affairs with the company, told "It's a huge amount for us." …The Affordable Care Act imposed the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices beginning in 2013…Cook Medical also argues that the impact is greater than just a 2.3 percent uptick in taxes, and that the impact on actual earnings is closer to 15 percent…A Senate Republican Policy Committee report last month said companies are already "shrinking their payrolls" in advance of the tax, pointing to the announcement last November by medical device firm Stryker Corp. to lay off 5 percent of its workforce in advance of the tax. Fox News

6. Big Govt: We Need Entitlement Reform If We Want True Economic Growth. According to George Mason University's Mercatus Center, nearly 150 million Americans receive some form of federal assistance…First, let’s acknowledge the simple reality that we can no longer afford such programs as we have known them…[W]hat too often is ignored in the contests over entitlement reform, streamlining the tax code, closing the deficit and related battles is the effect of federal benefits on the psyche of those not only enjoying but, increasingly, depending on them. That dependence is both financial and psychological. It is also dangerous. We are becoming what historian Niall Ferguson calls an “anti-risk culture.” The regulatory, supervisory and tax regimes of federal, state and local governments on the one hand, and the soothing assurance that should one fail, government aid almost invariably will be on the way on the other provide wonderful disincentives for the uncertain ventures needed to keep our economy vibrant. Guaranteed benefits incentivize mediocrity. Knowing that one will receive health insurance, no matter what, income and other goodies will cause at least a significant part of the population to coast rather than thrive. This is not to suggest we do away with every federal benefits program. We should modernize the various programs such that greater personal choice and comprehensive market-based reforms are implemented. The assurance, however, that Uncle Sam will always be there erodes, at least for some, the desire to achieve that has driven America’s historic and unparalleled growth. Washington Times

7. The Obama Economy: Tax Hikes Will Slow Growth, Destroy Jobs, But Won’t Reduce The Deficit. The Democrats, in particular, want to depict the Republican Party as beholden to the rich, while creating the image that their own party—President Barack Obama's party—represents the true interest of the poor and middle class. Hopefully, voters will see past this façade, and understand that the real choice is not between rich and poor, it's between growth and stagnation, and it's between having a successful debt reduction and a failed one. Basic economics suggest that higher tax rates reduce the benefit of working and therefore cause people to work less. They also dampen consumption because people with lower after-tax incomes consume less. This holds for people of all income classes—those earning more than $200,000 and those earning less. The additional impact of high tax rates on small business owners is that they are left with insufficient capital to invest in their businesses and have less money to hire new workers. Empirical research in economics widely documents these effects on small business owners. What's more, tax hikes are not even very effective at reducing long-run debt. US News

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