Meet Paul Ryan and Chris Christie, the GOP’s dynamic and dangerous duo. One is the author of “A Roadmap for America’s Future,” a bold blueprint that shows policymakers how they can shrink entitlement spending while also growing the economy. The other is the Garden State’s chief executive and YouTube sensation who’s implementing his own roadmap in a blue state drowning in red ink. Both are fighting back hard against the idea that government spending can’t be cut and thus taxes must be raised in order restore America’s long-term fiscal solvency.
Here is what I know, or what I think I know, about President Obama’s pick of Austan Goolsbee to be the new head of his Council of Economic Advisers:
President Barack Obama’s just-departed budget chief, Peter Orszag, thinks all the Bush-era tax cuts should be temporarily extended to bolster the weak U.S. economy. So does Mark Zandi, the go-to private economist of congressional Democrats. But Obama still vows to let high-end rates go higher again ASAP. His thinking is as much politics as economics.
The Republican reply to the POTUS tax plan:
Speaking ahead of an economic address set for later in the day by President Barack Obama, Boehner also proposed that the U.S. government cut spending for next year to 2008 levels — before federal corporate bailouts and Obama’s $814 billion economic stimulus plan.
President Barack Obama’s economic offensive may not charm business or Republicans. The president’s plans to spend $50 billion on roads and railways and grant businesses $300 billion of investment tax credits have merit. But they don’t look enough to sway a disillusioned corporate America already wondering about the fate of $4 trillion in soon-to-expire tax cuts from the Bush years. And the GOP is in no rush to pass a second stimulus before looming midterm elections.
An NY Times op-ed by just-departed WH budget chief Peter Orszag is getting lots of play because he advocates temporarily extending all the Bush tax cuts. After that, though, he wants all of them to expire. This is the part that really got my attention:
Departing White House economic adviser Christina Romer says last year’s $814 billion stimulus package fell short. That may suggest those arguing for more fiscal action are gaining ground with the administration. But short of a renewed economic slump, electoral politics are working against more stimulus.
The respected Cook Political Report:
The macro political landscape strongly favors Republicans and it is not likely that it will change much between now and November. As a result, a look at the 37 Senate races on the ballot shows some deterioration for Democrats in some of the 19 seats they are defending, while Republicans’ prospects have stayed the same or improved slightly in their most competitive seats. As such, it is now likely that Republicans will score a net gain of between seven and nine seats. While there is a plausible argument for how Republicans could net the 10 seats they need to win the majority, it remains an unlikely scenario today.