James Pethokoukis

Poll: Obamanomics has too much spending, too much government

July 24, 2009

Notice particularly the the stats for independents …

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Public doesn’t like direction of ObamaCare

July 24, 2009

Why is Obama suddenly talking a lot more about healthcare costs? (And maybe he should do something more akin to a PowerPoint presentation when talking about this stuff. Remember those old Ross Perot presidential campaign commercials where he used charts?) Maybe because of this (from the WSJ):

The Reid/Obama healthcare conundrum

July 23, 2009

Good point from Marc Ambinder:

We know how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is going to spend his recess: he has to figure out how to match the Senate HELP Committee’s plans for health insurance reform with what the Senate Finance Committee is willing to pay.  …  In announcing that the Senate simply could not come to an agreement before the recess, Reid is acknowledging that the Finance Committee’s draft, which is due on the floor before the recess, isn’t going to pay for everything the HELP Committee wants. … Reid made this news on the day after the President explicitly defended his timeline and gave what he considered to be the best argument in favor of reform. The message: you didn’t help us last night, Mr. President.  …  Nothing will doom the chances for health care reform more than the perception that health care is doomed.

What Obama forgot to talk about last night

July 23, 2009

Obama presented a false choice last night, either the status quo or Obamacare. But what about empowering consumers and letting markets work? A great post from the Health Care Blog makes some great points on this very issue. It looks at two fictional familes and shows how each deals with three different medical problems —  back pain, chest pain and dementia? The Smiths are passive and rely on the doctor while the Joneses aggessivey reserach their problems and question authority. Here is one example:

Why Obama might have just killed Obamacare

July 23, 2009

If President Obama’s prime-time speech and news conference were intended to push national healthcare reform over the political goal line, then the effort almost certainly failed. Do more Americans today better understand the still-evolving plans floating around Capitol Hill than they did yesterday? Unlikely.

Did Obama help or hurt himself with press conference?

July 23, 2009

I will be posting my column soon, but if you want to know what the rest of the MSM thinks, MSNBC’s Howard Fineman is a good stand-in:

That millionaire healthcare surtax would have to be …

July 23, 2009

… about 6 percent, according to the Tax Foundation, to theoretically raise the same amount of dough as also having surtaxes on those making over $350,000. Now this assumes wealthy Americans wouldn’t scramble to reduce their tax liabilities via all manner of tax-sheltering strategies. Of course, such behavior isn’t economically efficient as Obama himself knows:

Live blogging President Obama’s news conference

July 22, 2009

My quick spin: I think he made a better case That Something Needs to Be Done than Dem Plan Needs to be Done …also hammers deficit and control cost issue.  He was still making diagnosis rather than why his treatment is the best …did not advance argument.

Paging Alan Frumin! Why reconcilliation may be no Dem silver bullet for healthcare reform

July 22, 2009

Trying to push healthcare reform through the Senate (via the reconcilliation process) with just 51 votes is problematic at best for the Dems. This, from my pal Rich Lowry:

4 reasons why a second stimulus is a bad idea

July 22, 2009

Wells Fargo/Wachovia economist John Siliva makes his case:

1) A second stimulus would add fuel to the already recovering economy and would create the false impression that all is now back to the “happy days” of an overleveraged consumer and strong growth. Therefore, estimates of top-line revenues are likely to overstate the true sustainable future pace of sales in a deleveraged economy.