James Pethokoukis

Surprise! Obama budget panel might work

July 1, 2010

Washington commissions are usually political punchlines. Even President Barack Obama has mocked them in past. Yet his much-hyped deficit commission is a symbol of White House plans to fix America’s long-term budget problems. Actually, it kind of is the White House plan, it kind of is the fiscal strategy.

One VAT to rule them all!

July 1, 2010

Just how big a value-added tax would it take to solve America’s budget woes through tax increases alone?  Monstrously big, according to the Tax Foundation:

Recovery Summer and the big fade

July 1, 2010

So how goes the economic news today? The job market?

The jobless claims data remain the weakest indicator of labor market activity. On the face of it, the rise in the four-week average to the highest level since the beginning of March points to a weakening in the labor market and a potential decline in private payrolls. … we find the level and direction in jobless claims somewhat troubling and the increase is likely to feed double-dip fears.  (RDQ Economics)