James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Poll: Americans don’t want a VAT healthcare tax

May 29, 2009 17:37 UTC

Scat VAT! Rasmussen reports that while Democrats would go for a national sales tax to pay for universal healthcare, no so the rest of the country:

Democrats strongly support a national sales tax to provide universal health insurance coverage. Republicans are opposed by a three-to-one margin, and those not affiliated with either major party are opposed two-to-one.


The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.-Ronald Reagan

Dem healthcare reform adopts ‘most liberal approaches’

May 29, 2009 15:42 UTC

Healthcare reform is gaining momentum. (“If we don’t get it done this year, we’re not going to get it done,” Obama said yesterday.) Ted Kennedy’s bill is beginning to be unwrapped, says the WaPo:

In many respects it adopts the most liberal approaches to health reform being discussed in Washington. Kennedy, for example, embraces a proposal to create a government-sponsored insurance program to compete directly with existing private insurance plans, according to one senior adviser who was not authorized to talk to reporters. The draft summary also calls for opening Medicaid to those whose incomes are 500 percent of the federal poverty level, or $110,250 a year for a family of four.

Do we need a second Obama stimulus pacakge?

May 29, 2009 14:56 UTC

Back in January when Team Obama was pushing its stimulus plan, the White House put out a self-analysis of the potential economic impact of the plan, authored by Jared Bernstein and Christina Romer.  If Congress passed the president’s plan, the report said, the U.S. unemployment rate would rise to just under 8 percent by later this year and fall to 7 percent by Q4 2010. If the plan was not passed, the reported predicted, the U.S. unemployment rate would climb to 9 percent next year.

Time for a reality check. Unemployment is already at 8.9 percent The consenus private sector estimate is that unemployment will average 9.7 percent next year. Douglas Elmendorf, head of the Congressional Budget Office, says unemployment will peak at 10.5 percent next year.  One conclusion is that we need another mega-stimulus package. An alternatve conclusion would be that the first one isn’t working and it’s time for Plan B.


I would agree that the original stimulus plan isn’t working. The plan was poorly planned and I believe that the Obama Administration rushed this plan due to all the hype generated from Obama’s campaign promises. If the country is going to move forward with another stimulus package, I think the money would be put to better use if it was invested into civil construction projects. Civil Construction projects would not only help boost the economy, but it will also help to decrease the growing unemployment, which at this point in time, getting people back to work is one of the most important issues this country faces.

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