James Pethokoukis

Deferral Drama: Why Obama corporate tax reversal hints at a VAT

October 13, 2009

Many ideas that may have momentarily seemed like smart policy earlier this year — when rage at Wall Street and Corporate America hit a fevered pitch — didn’t survive a bit of calm reflection ((and intense business lobbying.). Like that 90 percent tax on executive bonuses. Or nationalizing the banks.

The Obama housing plan? Fail — at least so far

October 13, 2009

My Reuters colleagues give the tale of the tape:

Obama, grappling with the worst U.S. housing crisis since the Great Depression, pledged to help as many as 9 million families keep their homes by reworking their mortgages.

Obama, this is why America is not Europe

October 13, 2009

As usual, Joel Kotkin nails it:

In a rapidly aging society like Germany’s and those of other E.U. countries you can make a case for slow growth, limited work hours, early retirement and a strict regulatory regime. But for America, with its growing workforce and population, slow economic growth simply is not socially sustainable.

The bull case on the dollar

October 13, 2009

Scott Grannis, the Calafia Pundit, plots a currency course that does’t turn America into a third-world economy:

The next big political issue? The U.S. dollar

October 12, 2009

The state of the dollar probably hasn’t been a first-tier political issue in the United States since, say, the presidential election of 1896. Back then, it manifested as whether or not America would stay on the gold standard or switch to a bimetallic one. (The William Jennings Bryan “cross of gold” speech and all that.)

A $150 billion a year financial Tobin tax? Really?

October 12, 2009

The idea of a Tobin tax, a tax on financial transactions, is gaing some mo’ in Congress (via WSJ):

The story of the $1.4 trillion budget deficit for 2009

October 12, 2009

My pal Don Marron breaks it down:

A few days ago, CBO released its latest snapshot on the federal budget, documenting the remarkable challenges of fiscal 2009, which ended on September 30. The key phrase in the report is “in over 50 years” as in:

Study: Democratic healthcare reform could increase costs

October 12, 2009

America’s Health Insurance Plans, an insurance industry trade group, paid for this PricewaterhouseCoopers study that found Democratic healthcare reform would sharply raise the price of private healthcare insurance. The typical premium could rise by $4,000 by 2019. Here is the executive summary:

Zandi: Unemployment headed to 10.5 percent

October 12, 2009

Moody’s Economy.com economist Mark Zandi likes the stimulus (via Fox News) but still thinks unemployment is headed higher. In his own words:

How Obama can earn that Nobel Peace Prize

October 9, 2009

The Nobel Committee in Norway says it awarded President Barack Obama the 2009 Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” (Congratulations, Mr. President.) In particular, the committee noted Obama’s multilateral approach on the issues of climate chance and nuclear disarmament.