James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Unemployment and the 2010 midterms

Feb 22, 2010 20:28 UTC

Charlie Cook has it exactly correct in this piece of analysis:

I’ve spent the last couple of days talking to some of the brightest Democrats in the party that are not in the White House. And it’s very hard to come up with a scenario where Democrats don’t lose the House. It’s very hard. Are the seats there right this second? No. But we’re on a trajectory on the House turning over….
There are nine months, certainly things could happen, but the odds of unemployment being below 9 percent are minimal by the time of this election. We’re probably going to have a year of basically, more or less, 10 percent unemployment, which hasn’t happened since the Great Depression. I mean, in fact, in an even-numbered year there’s only been one month of double-digit unemployment in the post-War era. One month. And now we’re going to have probably about a year.

Me: Unemployment is The Variable. Anything other than a sharp drop is terrible news for Democrats. And there seems little chance the US economy will generate the level of economic growth this year necessary to generate hundreds of thousands of job per month.

COMMENT

Dear friend,
You have already appreciated of my new found theory of world economics by email,and i acknowledged it.
Todays writing on America!s ruling parties pros and cons,likely to lose charm,popularity from Americans are imminent.
On any democratic elections, many political leaders knew very well on their present anger, failure of their expectations from ruling parties and these known thoughts will convert and give more mileage to upcoming political parties.
Here,Democratic party had en cashed it to their favor.
Now, true color comes out.
Daily, i am reading, and knowing from American friends, and relatives from overseas on America!s latest economic scenes.
Some despair had already on Americans faces.
What to say an end to this topic.
We hope that, they will do some serious introspections,analysis and where,what went wrong and for quick damage control exercises for any further set back.
Time has come to learn from India,China, South Korea,Brazil,Russia!s progress on their economic upbeat,consolidation, and growing their export,IT sectors and more job oriented schemes to jobless segments.
Best wishes to you,your family and to this great news provider to entire world.

New Obama health plan moves hard in wrong direction

Feb 22, 2010 18:06 UTC

Well, let’s see: It costs $75 billion more than the Senate plan. It delays the one sure-fire cost-control measure, the tax on high-end plans. And it gives the federal government new authority to block insurers from increasing premiums. That last one is particularly wrong-headed. The policy thrust of ObamaCare was supposed to be to reduce costs by changing how healthcare was delivered, not through rationing. But price caps are nothing more than rationing. As Cato’s Mike Cannon puts it:

As I have written elsewhere, artificially limiting premium growth allows the government to curtail spending while leaving the dirty work of withholding medical care to private insurers: “Premium caps, which Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is currently threatening to impose, force private insurers to manage care more tightly — i.e., to deny coverage for more services.” No doubt the Obama administration would lay the blame for coverage denials on private insurers and claim that such denials demonstrate the need for a so-called “public option.
Who knows if this thing can actually pass, but using reconciliation to do it will only amp up the partisan and polarized nature of Congress.

COMMENT

This health bill will force the average small business to fire 3-4 workers on account of the hefty fines. I work for http://storyburn.com, and I can see why folks are pulling their hair out over the temp job being the new full time job, China stealing our mojo, Wall Street bonuses at record highs, and people taking a 10% paycut and asked to work unpaid overtime. We have the most read home foreclosure story as well as several job hunting stories

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