James Pethokoukis

An economic double whammy

October 4, 2010

My pal Don Luskin  gets it just right in the WSJ today: America is wrong on both taxes and trade.

TARP reconsidered

October 4, 2010

Interesting piece by former FDIC head Bill Isaac on the bank bailout:

In truth, customers of money market funds had already been calmed when Treasury issued a 100% guarantee of their money – before TARP was enacted.  The FDIC had the authority to reassure depositors under existing law, as was in fact done shortly after the TARP was enacted.

Rahm Emanuel leaves the White House

October 1, 2010

First a bit from my Reuters Breakingviews column on the departure of Rahm Emanuel:

Tax debate should bypass old German theory

October 1, 2010

The expiry of Bush-era tax cuts at year end, as originally legislated, could knock back the already anemic U.S. recovery. Deficit hawks reckon that’s an acceptable risk, saying America just can’t afford to extend them. But that viewpoint assumes some belief in Wagner’s Law, which posits ever-higher public spending — a bit of dogma in need of debunking.

Obama could use another deal maker by his side

October 1, 2010

The remainder of the Obama presidency may hinge on whether the White House can reach a grand agreement with Republicans on critical tax and budget issues. The departure of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to run for Chicago mayor makes that a bit harder. As befits a former investment banker, he understood how to close a deal. Negotiating skills are still in high demand at the White House.