James Pethokoukis

Stimulus? Any day now …

June 29, 2009

White House economist Christina Romer says government stimulus is “going to ramp up strongly through the summer and the fall.”  This implies that a lack of stimulus explains the poor economy — not that the Obama stimulus plan is simply not working. Yet what stimulus is flowing into the economy isn’t working, as many predicted — including me and Milton Friedman. Listen to Gluskin Sheff economist David Rosenberg (bold is mine):

The face of fear

June 29, 2009

Scott Grannis, the Calafia Beach Pundit, think market fears have ebbed, but they may not return to previous low levels:

Obama’s techno-optimism

June 29, 2009

The president on cap-and-trade, via the WSJ): “My strong belief is, is that innovation and technology are going to accelerate our process beyond these targets, and that we’re going to look back and say we can do even more.” Despite conservative naysaying about alternative technologies, there could well be huge leaps forward. But the same is also true of nuclear energy technology, which is why it is such a shame that the Obamacrats want to push it out of the debate .

Krugman: Dem green job claims are bogus

June 29, 2009

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the cap-and-trade bill was about “jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.” But liberal economist Paul Krugman tells National Public Radio a different story (thanks to OpenMarket):

Sotomayor watch

June 29, 2009

Will the Supreme Court decision on the Ricci case affect Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s chances of making it on the Supreme Court? It gives GOPers a stronger handhold during questioning, no doubt. I will be keeping an eye on the betting markets with this one. So far they are not moving and still rate her a 95 percent probablity of being confirmed.

Tracking the ‘Nanny State’ deficit

June 29, 2009

From Ed Yardeni:

Meanwhile, the “Nanny State Deficit” soared to a record $740.9bn (saar). It is simply the gap between the social benefits provided by the government minus the payroll taxes paid by employees and employers to pay for them. This deficit was close to zero at the start of 2001, the start of the data in the monthly personal income release. Such benefits were equivalent to 34.1% of wages and salaries in May. That’s a record high and well above readings of 10% before the start of the Great Society in the mid-1960s.

America, don’t let this happen to you!

June 29, 2009

Stick with me on this. The WSJ outlines three economic options for Germany, whose trade-based economy has fallen nearly 7 percent during the past four quarters: 1) do nothing and wait for the global economy to pick up; 2) increase domestic consumption via higher union wages; 3) innovate!