Breakingviews

Obama student loan fix spares rod, spoils borrower

June 11, 2014

Extending repayment caps and debt forgiveness to older graduates gives too many high earners a break. Making everyone pay a flat percentage of income would be simpler, fairer – and cheaper for taxpayers. It could also deliver a valuable lesson in financial responsibility.

Smartest U.S. export to China could be Max Baucus

March 17, 2014

The new ambassador to Beijing arrives just as Uncle Sam seems to have lost interest in his biggest trade partner. China know-how is scarce in the White House; key seats sit empty. But Baucus could be an asset by helping cement new trade pacts that leave both sides better off.

Lael Brainard isn’t the only Fed no-brainer

November 7, 2013

The departing Treasury official acquitted herself nobly helping the world understand Washington’s profligate and quixotic ways. She’s a confirmable choice on the central bank’s board of governors. Filling other Fed vacancies quickly is President Obama’s other obvious task.

GOP’s best bargaining tactic: raise debt ceiling

October 8, 2013

Using the imminent default deadline to force the White House to a compromise on the government shutdown isn’t working. Removing it from the table would show that Republicans can be reasonable – and allow the funding debate to rage without roiling global financial markets.

Global relief on fiscal cliff misses the point

By Edward Hadas
January 2, 2013

The unnecessary fight over the U.S. budget ended with another messy and inadequate compromise. Other equally silly clashes loom. Investors may cheer, but their nail-biting was symptomatic of the world’s excessive dependence on dysfunctional American politics. That hasn’t changed.

Gun bubble reloads on Obama re-election fears

April 3, 2012

The president’s 2008 victory triggered massive growth in firearms sales. Purchasers thought strict gun control legislation was coming. It never arrived, and weapon sales tumbled. Yet the prospect of a second Obama term is boosting sales - and shares of gun-makers - once again.

Obama’s corporate tax plan is a good start

February 23, 2012

The president’s proposal to reduce the rate paid by companies to 28 pct and eliminate many loopholes gets the debate moving in the right direction. But there’s plenty of room to improve the plan, too. For one thing, it would make global competition tougher for domestic firms.

U.S. recovery now not jobless, only homeless

January 6, 2012

Despite the 200,000 new jobs last month and another drop in unemployment, job creation is still slower than in recent recoveries and looks a bit like the early 1960s. That’s partly because the weak housing market means few new construction jobs. Still, Obama can breathe easier.

For Obama’s 2012 hopes, it really is the economy

January 4, 2012

A reasonably reliable forecasting model puts the U.S. president with just over half the two-party vote in November. The Intrade electronic market gives him a 52 pct chance of re-election. A Breakingviews calculator shows how economic growth in 2012 could tip the result.

New Obama budget still leaves fiscal future fuzzy

April 13, 2011

President Barack Obama's budget do-over is certainly an upgrade. U.S. deficits a decade from now would be sharply lower than under his previous plan. But the approach is still full of accounting gimmicks, and ducks making necessary long-term fixes.