James Pethokoukis

Obama debt panel shapes fiscal “battlespace”

December 2, 2010

It looks like the vote on the panel’s recommendations will be closer than I first thought. Here is my take from my Reuters Breakingviews columnette:

Now it’s Tom Coburn vs. Grover Norquist

December 2, 2010

It is getting interesting. On Twitter, Ryan Ellis (@taxplayer) of Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform had this to say about Judd Gregg, Tom Coburn and Mike Crapo supporting the Obama debt panel recommendations: “by agreeing to the simpson-bowles tax hikes, pledge breakers coburn, crapo, and gregg have admitted they lied about taxes to get elected.”

Explaining Orszag’s maybe move to Wall Street

December 2, 2010

Former Obama budget chief Peter Orszag to Citi? Maybe. What, you thought the big banks hated Obama’s financial reform?Just listen to KC bank president Tom Hoenig in the NYTimes:

Paul Ryan vs. Tom Coburn over Obama’s debt commission

December 2, 2010

Rep. Paul Ryan says he will vote “no” on the recommendations of the Obama debt commission: “Obviously, I’m not going to vote for it. … Not only didn’t it address the elephant in the room, healthcare, it made it fatter.”

Freeze the (pay)day!

December 1, 2010

Here is a bit from my Reuters Breakingviews column on the Obama federal pay freeze:

The Obama debt panel’s vision in one chart

December 1, 2010

As you can see from the chart below, this plan — if you exclude interest savings — actually depends quite a bit on revenue as opposed to spending cuts — 45 percent to 55 percent. The UK austerity plan is more like 3-to-1 spending over tax increases. Of course, when healthcare is basically off limits, it kind of limits your options:

Final report of Obama debt panel

December 1, 2010

The final report, which won’t get the 14 “yes” votes needed to nudge Congress to consider it, from the Obama debt panel is here. And here is  the chart which shows what it would do: