James Pethokoukis

The day healthcare reform died?

June 18, 2009

At least as envisioned by the most gung-ho LibDem proponents. Ezra Klein gives it to them straight after viewing the latest Senate Finance Committee proposal:

The link between deficits and taxes

June 18, 2009

This chart from ClusterStock confirms what I have been saying: big deficits lead to higher taxes (1982, 1990, 1993, 2009) … at least I think it does

Jimmy P’s Top Ten blogs posts of the day

June 18, 2009

1) What is the surge in health insurance stocks telling us. Frances Cianfrocca thinks he knows.

Democrat infighting on healthcare

June 18, 2009

I think this sums up the centrist-liberal divide on healthcare (via The Hill):

There is concern among centrists in the caucus that the draft bill, to be released Friday, will reflect some of the more liberal ideas in the caucus, although leadership has already rejected the idea of a single-payer system. It is being put together by the House Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees.  “You have a bunch of crazy liberal chairs and their crazy liberal staffers, and they want to lay down a marker,” said a senior Democratic aide.

Too much power for the Fed?

June 18, 2009

That is the conclusion of my pal Larry Kudlow of CNBC:

This is like the fox guarding the henhouse. After all, the Fed’s overly loose money policies created the asset bubble — including housing, commodities, and energy — in the first place. Near-zero interest rates, huge money growth, and total disregard for the plunging dollar are what set up the housing boom and the unfortunate overleveraging by consumers, mortgage borrowers, and Wall Street securitizers.

A few questions for Timothy Geithner on financial reform

June 18, 2009

If I was in Congress and Treasury Secretary Geithner was testifying before my committee (as he is doing today in the House and Senate), I might ask him the following:

What can Obama really get done this year?

June 18, 2009

The always insightful Dan Clifton of Strategas Research gives his three cents:

1) $700 to $800 BN Healthcare Reform passes later this year with a major focus on Medicaid expansion and some cuts to providers;

Polls, Obama and the economy

June 18, 2009

Both the NYT and WSJ have polls out and from them I draw these quick conclusions:

Inflation vs. Deflation

June 18, 2009

The always great Ed Yardeni has a smart take on the inflation-deflation debate, comparing US quantitative easing efforts to those of Japan in the 1990s:

About that Consumer Financial Protection Agency …

June 17, 2009

Andy Busch of BMO Capital Markets doesn’t like the look of it one bit:

Lastly, the plan wants to create an new regulatory body to oversee consumer financial products. The Consumer Financial Protection Agency or CFPA would have broad powers to regulate all aspects of the sector from mortgages to credit cards to bank accounts. While President Obama has expressed his desire that this new agency not regulate interest rates on credit cards, I would imagine it would be difficult to control once it gets into operation. Mortgages, home equity loans, debit cards, and credit cards would all come under some committee in Congress and have sweeping authority to set rules.