James Pethokoukis

Will 8.5 percent unemployment be enough to reelect Obama?

November 10, 2010

The Hill sets the economic bar awfully low:

Economists who study the labor market said this week that they expect unemployment in 2012 to average 8.5 percent, down more than a point from the 9.6 jobless rate of today. Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, said every forecast she has studied predicts rapid job growth in 2012, even though the national number will still be a far cry from full employment. “It’s still going to be so high in 2012, but people are going to be feeling better,” Shierholz said.

Democrats now favor the Pethokoukis ‘extend and reform’ tax plan

November 10, 2010

Evan Bayh and Kent Conrad like my “extend and reform” proposal (via the WSJ):

Not bad for government work

November 10, 2010

This (from USA Today)  will only encourage the Chris Christie Republicans:

Federal salaries have grown robustly in recent years, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Office of Personnel Management data. Key findings:

Sarah Palin (and Germany and China) against Obama

November 9, 2010

Of course, Sarah Palin is quite right in her concerns about the economic impact of more quantitative easing.  At best, Ben Bernanke’s efforts may add a third of percentage point to GDP. Maybe. And at what cost? Bubbles in commodities and emerging markets, capital controls, currency interventions, further erosion of America’s role as an economic model. All for, as Palin puts it, “temporary, artificial economic growth.”   Or as Kevin Warsh of the Fed puts it:

Blaming the American public

November 8, 2010

If the Obama wants to be a one-termer, he should pay attention to people like Hendrik Hertzberg:

Tax cuts for companies — but not kids?

November 8, 2010

Doug Holtz-Eakin gives a perfectly lucid explanation of why the U.S. needs to cut its corporate tax rate, allow immediate expensing of capital purchases and end worldwide taxation of  profits. But then his deficit hawkishness emerges:

Kevin Warsh, a pro-growth advocate at the Fed

November 8, 2010

Great, great stuff from Fed member Kevin Warsh in the WSJ. After giving his perfunctory agreement with QEII, he gets after it with a rousing piece of advocacy:

Tea Party’s other big win: death of cap-and-trade

November 5, 2010

Looks like Tea Party America has busted a cap in cap-and-tax. Following sweeping Republican election victories, President Barack Obama has conceded his cap-and-trade plan to cut carbon emissions is dead for the foreseeable future. “I think there are a lot of Republicans that ran against the energy bill that passed in the House last year, Obama said at a Nov. 3 press conference. “And so it’s doubtful that you could get the votes to pass that through the House this year or next year or the year after.”

U.S. tax cuts may cheat death, but reform needs life

November 5, 2010

The Bush tax cuts look on the verge of cheating death. The White House is strongly hinting it will compromise with Republicans and agree to temporarily extend wealthy and middle-class tax reductions set to vanish at year-end. That would provide welcome relief since even partial expiration risks sapping economic growth during a flaccid recovery. But a two-year deal, while welcome, would also still leave the long-term state of the tax code in flux. Washington should use the extra time for sweeping reform.

The Dow knows — all the Bush tax cuts will be extended

November 5, 2010

The Dow industrials are up 2 percent today as Wall Street figures out what DC insiders know: All the Bush tax cuts will be temporarily extended, more than likely during the “lame duck” session in December.  Robert Gibbs gave it all away today after Obama hinted as much yesterday: