James Pethokoukis

This is what Pelosi should have said about cap-and-trade …

June 30, 2009

This is much punchier than “jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.” James Lovelock (via the Climate Progress blog):

Why Europe wants America to raise taxes

June 30, 2009

When the G20 went after tax havens last April, I said it was just a first step toward a push for “tax harmonization,”  a fancy phrase that really means getting low-tax nations to raise their tax rates. Then I see what the prime minister of Finland is advocating:

Doing the PPIP shuffle

June 30, 2009

A Treasury insider talk about the ever-shrinking PPIP (via Noam Scheiber):

If you had asked–I don’t want to speak for the secretary–what’s problem number one? I think he’d say capital. Problem two? Capital. Problem three? Capital. Everything was in the service of that view. The legacy loans program was meant to help clean balance sheets. It was not an independent good in itself. It was seen as friendly to equity raising. Now people say the legacy loans thing is not gaining as much traction, so is that a failure? But because we had a good outcome in terms of raising equity, they [the banks] were able to raise equity without shedding assets … you should be okay with that.

Is Obama blowing it?

June 30, 2009

Some liberals think so, says Ezra Klein:

Late last week, I was summoned to a windowed meeting room overlooking the White House to sit with members of one of Washington’s nimbler, smarter think tanks. The assembled thinkers tried to convince me that Barack Obama was missing a historic opportunity: The legislation that was traveling under his name was increasingly unlikely to bind the middle class to his presidency or party. Cap-and-trade was a mess. Health reform was going to fail on cost control. And what of jobs? Obama, they said, had to take a firmer hand with the Congress. His hands-off approach was a fiasco. Leadership matters. It’s important. It’s needed.

Pelosi, a vision in white — but not green

June 30, 2009

It was Nancy Pelosi’s star turn. (The blindingly white pant suit — Armani? Lovely.) The House speaker giving the closing argument at the end of the cap-and-trade debate that she personally pushed to the floor. The final pitch. “Just remember these four words for what this legislation means: jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. Let’s vote for jobs.” Then the victorious vote. The greatest achievement of her legislative career. “An extraordinary piece of legislation,” said President Obama.