James Pethokoukis

The debate has shifted …

November 23, 2010

James Capretta is dead on:

But what’s really important about the last month is not that any reform plan is about to pass. It’s that the terms of the budget, entitlement and health care debates have shifted dramatically, and very likely on a permanent basis. The fundamental elements of the Ryan Roadmap are sweeping tax reform; changes in health care which emphasize a marketplace and consumer choice; and modifications to retirement programs that reflect demographic reality. All of these elements can now be found in budget plans endorsed by prominent Democrats, including Democrats the president himself turned to find solutions to the nation’s budget problems. Consequently, it will be much harder in the future for Democrats to demonize these ideas as they have tried to do in the past.

Just how much defense spending can be cut?

November 23, 2010

This chart from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget shows that while there may be some room to reduce defense spending, the instrument of choice should be a scalpel rather than a hatchet:

Paul Ryan and the conservative economic mind

November 23, 2010

A member of the Bush White House once told me that the two key influentials when it came to conservatives/Republicans and economics were the Wall Street Journal editorial board and CNBC’s Larry Kudlow. Well, I think you can add a third name to that list: Rep. Paul Ryan. In a newspaper chat,  the GOP budget guru gives his two cents on the Fed: