James Pethokoukis

How will the right deal with potential defense cuts?

June 15, 2010

Bruce Bartlett thinks budget deficits will create a schism among Republicans/conservatives:

The way out of (national) debt

June 15, 2010

National Review’s Stephen Spruiell makes the following point:

Italy (debt-to-GDP: 118 percent) has put together an austerity package that relies mostly spending cuts to do the heavy lifting. Portugal (debt-to-GDP: 86 percent) has put together an austerity package that relies mostly on tax increases. Because Italy is cutting spending instead of raising taxes, it has better economic growth prospects, and will bring down its level of indebtedness more quickly, than Portugal. That markets believe this is reflected in CDS spreads of 189 basis points for Italy, compared with 289 points for Portugal.

The U.S. state budget shortfall in a picture

June 14, 2010

This, from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

stategap

The Dirty Shirt Theory and the Keynesian Endpoint

June 14, 2010

From Ed Yardeni:

The bears are mostly, and rightly, concerned that many economies around the world are overly leveraged. They claim that both private and public debt burdens are so great now that they are depressing economic growth. This has the potential to cause a deleveraging death spiral for the global economy according to the most bearish of the bears. The bulls believe that the global economic recovery has plenty of forward momentum and is self-sustaining even if many governments are forced to implement austerity measures to placate the Bond Gods.

Bill Gates’ Big Government plan for clean energy ‘miracle’

June 14, 2010

Bill Gates and a bunch of other top corporate executives want Uncle Sam to spend a lot  more on clean energy research and development. Here’s why:

US ready may become world’s highest corporate taxer

June 14, 2010

The US has the second highest corporate tax rate among advanced economies. But maybe not for long. Tell the people the bad news, Reuters:

Obama budget cuts only a start

June 9, 2010

Cutting 5 percent of optional government spending won’t plug America’s fiscal hole. Still, President Barack Obama’s proposal may buy a bit more time with nervous financial markets. It could even kick-start a needed rationalization of government outlays. Every little helps — but Obama needs to go further.

Why Meg Whitman can save California

June 9, 2010

As former Goldman Sachs CEO and ousted New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine can attest, a business background hardly guarantees political success. Though California is no startup website, former eBay boss Meg Whitman, now the GOP’s nominee for governor, might have the right skill-set to tackle the Golden State’s fiscal challenges.

Back to recession in 2011? (Even kind of rhymes)

June 7, 2010

Tax-cut guru Arthur Laffer worries about next year. He attributes the economic rebound this year to workers and business pulling forward economic activity into 2010 to avoid more taxes and regulation in 2011. As he puts it in the WSJ today:

Here comes the iPad tax

June 7, 2010

It’s almost as dodgy a notion as nuking BP’s gusher. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is mulling ways to subsidize the flailing news industry. Paying for it could involve head-scratchers like taxing iPad sales. What the media industry needs is innovation not intervention.