James Pethokoukis

If not for Obama, would the US be Spain?

June 12, 2009

Matthew Yglesias says if not the Obama stimulus, the US would be in the same bad shape as Europe where the economy is supposed to shrink 4.2 percent vs. 2.8 percent here. I think this says more about a) the underlying deep power of the American economy. b) the Fed’s monetary stimulus rather than c) the 5 percent of the $787 billion that already out the door.

Obama’s gas price conundrum

June 12, 2009

This American Thinker post explores the political fallout of rising gas prices on the Obamacrats. (Gas was a $1.80 when Obama took office.) When gas prices soared in 2008, the Dems hammered Bush and the GOP. But super-high prices ended up being a plus for the McCain campaign since he was arguing for an “all of the above” energy policy (more driling and nukes, not just alternative energy) which strikes most people as a pretty reasonable approach.  If we head back to $3.50/4.00,  the Obamacrats could get hit by a double whammy — public unhappiness at high gas prices and at the administration’s refusal to move beyond a green approach.

Cap-and-trade off the table for 2009

June 12, 2009

That is the conclusion of this Reuters story. But how about 2010? Here is the money graf:

Will Obama fire his accountants?

June 12, 2009

Some Democrats want the costs of healthcare reform to be judged by the White House Office of Management and Budget, not the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. As The Hill explains: “This unusual option could give Democratic leaders hundreds of billions of additional dollars to work with as they draft their plans. But Republicans would call it an accounting gimmick and a huge spending loophole.” It doesn’t need to be said, but I will say it: If the Bush White House would have tried a stunt like this, the Dems and the MSM media would have screamed.

Obama’s healthcare rebuke

June 12, 2009

More and more it looks as if a public healthcare insurance option won’t happen, at least as originally imagined by President Obama and liberal Democrats. Republicans won’t vote for it, nor a sizable number of centrist Democrats. Now they are talking about state or regional cooperatives that would provide a pubic option of sorts. So how goes the liberal agenda? Consider: No federal government healthcare option, no cap-and-trade energy plan with the allowances auctioned and only light limits on CEO pay. But at least we are still running trillion dollar deficits!