James Pethokoukis

Is Elmendorf’s CBO too pessimistic or is Orszag’s OMB too optimistic?

April 12, 2010

White House budget chief Peter Orszag thinks his old colleagues at the Congressional Budget Office are being too pessimistic over the potential budget savings of healthcare reform (via The Hill):

Obama economic team not necessarily on way out

April 8, 2010

Government officials are like professional sports coaches: Most are hired to be fired and fatigue nabs the rest.

Stronger Chinese currency is good … and bad

April 8, 2010

This is from the New York Times is important (as outlined by me):

1) A stronger renminbi could prove a mixed blessing for the United States. If China cuts back sharply on purchases of Treasuries, then the Obama administration could find it harder to finance American budget deficits.

More on the future of Geithner, Summers and the Obama econ team

April 8, 2010

Bruce Bartlett adds this on the speculation about Tim Geithner and Larry Summers:

Bernanke’s strange comments on U.S. deficits

April 8, 2010

Cato’s Mike Cannon thinks Ben Bernanke’s comments on budget deficits should have come weeks ago. And he thinks he knows why they did not (excerpts):

CBO’s Elmendorf on the VAT

April 8, 2010

The Weekly Standard reports some interesting bits from a breakfast chat by Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf. The charming Mary Katharine Ham has some quotes:

Why Geithner and Summers may stick around for a while

April 8, 2010

I am writing a column on this, given the rumors about Larry Summers soon departing.  But a few quick thoughts:

Verily, Volcker avers VAT is in the vicinity

April 7, 2010

Reuters has the scoop:

The United States should consider raising taxes to help bring deficits under control and may need to consider a European-style value-added tax, White House adviser Paul Volcker said on Tuesday.

Net neutrality ruling strikes blow for freedom

April 7, 2010

Right about now the White House is probably thinking about packing the courts. Just as the Roosevelt-era Supreme Court voided a key New Deal effort to regulate commerce in 1935, a U.S. appeals court just put the kibosh on a Federal Communications Commission effort to regulate the Internet. This far and no farther, the court said to further federal intervention in the American economy.

Create jobs, don’t go green

April 6, 2010

As usual, Joel Kotkin nicely encapsulates the problem at hand:

Now the question is whether the president can refocus on jobs. This will take, among other things, backing off the economically ruinous climate change agenda. Even the most gullible economic development officials are beginning to realize that “green jobs” are no panacea. In fact, as evident in Spain, Germany and even Denmark, over-tough green legislation can destroy the productive capacity of the most enlightened industries. Similarly in green strongholds like California and Oregon, the mounting climate change jihad could slow and even explode the incipient recovery by imposing ever more draconian regulation on businesses that can choose to migrate to less onerous locales.