James Pethokoukis

How Greek debt crisis could save America

May 24, 2010

It’s absurd. Uncle Sam is likely to run up an additional $11 trillion in debt over the next decade. But Washington only replies with minor budgetary tweaks. First, the Obama administration says it wants to freeze some domestic spending for three years. Then it creates a new healthcare entitlement program “paid for” through tax increases and unlikely spending cuts. Next up, the Obama administration creates a deficit reduction panel that not even its members think will work. And now the Obama administration wants new “rescission” authority to cut billions from congressional spending bills — excepts it’s “trillions” that are the problem. None of these measures favorably alters the budget’s perilous trajectory.

New Obama budget knife a dull blade

May 24, 2010

If I was a U.S. taxpayer or holder of U.S. Treasuries, I would not take much comfort from President Barack Obama’s proposed Reduce Unnecessary Spending Act. Points for effort, I suppose. But fast tracking and streamlining the current fiscal process that allows the White House to submit proposed budget cuts from spending bills would do little.

Mind the (budget) gap

May 24, 2010

This Strategas chart shows just how badly things have gone off track:


The danger of small banks

May 24, 2010

Binyamin Appelbaum of the NYT tries to simply things for me:  “Broadly speaking, there were two ways for the federal government to respond to the financial crisis. The Obama administration chose more regulation.”

Why Larry Summers may not make it until 2011

May 24, 2010

David Warsh dismisses reports that Larry Summers may stick around longer than many in Washington expect:

Will seniors nix spending cuts to fix deficit?

May 24, 2010

My pal Bruce Bartlett says U.S. demographics support his position that America will need massive tax increases rather than massive entitlement cuts to get its fiscal house in order: