James Pethokoukis

Low Obama approval ratings could mean huge Dem losses in Congress

July 7, 2010

My pal Dan Clifton, political analyst over at Strategas, sees Democrats losing 50-60 seats in the House and 5-7 in the Senate. Noting Obama’s low approval rating — 44 percent according to Gallup — he produced this chart:

Why time has run out for 2010 Democrats

July 7, 2010

More and more, the political cake looks fully and thoroughly baked. Oh sure, perhaps congressional Democrats can sidestep the coming Republican wave through clever campaign tactics. Perhaps they can de-nationalize the November midterm elections by successfully waging dozens of bloody, up-close-and-personal knife fights coast to coast. Make every Republican a controversial Sharon Angle or Ron Paul with a radiation vibe.

Goldman Sachs: Economy needs fiscal, monetary boost

July 6, 2010

The econ team at Goldman Sachs is sounding worried. Here are a few snippets from a new report:

Kudlow: Time for a tax cut

July 6, 2010

Larry Kudlow thinks it’s time for Team Obama to consider a different path:

Fred Smith, the CEO of FedEx, does not have a Nobel Prize in economics. But he founded from scratch a gigantic global transportation and delivery company that has employed tens and tens of thousands of workers, something the Nobelists have never done. And Smith argues that the best job-creating measure would be a significant reduction in the corporate tax rate and a move to full expensing for business-investment tax write-offs. He’s exactly right.

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)