James Pethokoukis

A government shutdown is perhaps postponed … temporarily

February 28, 2011

Reuters outlines the basics:

Playing for time to overcome a deep partisan impasse over the budget, senior lawmakers backed away on Sunday from a possible government shutdown. Washington will run out of money on Friday and non-essential services will halt unless action is taken. A short-term fix to buy time seemed increasingly likely.

If China’s provinces were countries

February 26, 2011

Great, creative graphic from The Economist:

china

Mary Meeker’s look at USA Inc.

February 25, 2011

Mary Meeker, the famed technology stock analyst now at venture firm Kleiner Perkins, has produced a ginormous report/PowerPoint presentation that looks at the United States as if it were a corporation. Now there’s little factually in the report that couldn’t be found by perusing the Congressional Budget Office website or the recent report put out by President Barack Obama’s debt commission. And I think her menu of policy recommendations isn’t particularly novel either. I wish, for instance, she had looked at Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to reform healthcare:

Scott Walker chops away at Democrat foundation

February 25, 2011

National Journal’s Reid Wilson paints a great picture of Scott Walker’s threat to government unions and the Democratic Party:

Why a U.S. government shutdown is worth it

February 25, 2011

The cost-cutting battle lines are drawn in the U.S. Congress. But the fight will affect only maybe a sixth of spending, with big-ticket items like defense and Social Security getting a bipartisan pass for now. Still, tackling even that small slice would save money and reassure markets. A temporary government shutdown would be a small price to pay.

Civil War 2.0 may turn governors into presidents

February 24, 2011

Six men with the rank of general during the Civil War went on to become  president of the United States. But a new kind of union battle — one being fought in places like Trenton and Madison and Columbus and Indianapolis — may be forging the next generation of leaders who will ascend to the White House. How state governors fare as commanders in this escalating conflict with Big Government Labor may determine who makes it all the way and who falls short.

Obama’s dangerous debt dodge

February 22, 2011

Americans need to fully grasp just how scary dangerous the nation’s debt problem really is. Washington sure won’t deal it unless given a firm shove by voters. The tea party needs to get a lot bigger.

Obama’s centrist shift evaporates

February 18, 2011

President Barack Obama’s much-trumpeted move to the center? Apparently, it doesn’t go much beyond using buzzwords such as “innovation” and employing CEOs as stage props. His 2012 budget introduction and Wisconsin incursion make that clear.

No ‘substantial effect’ on long-term budget woes

February 14, 2011

Hey, it’s not just me pointing out the many flaws in the Obama budget. This from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

Obama budget reveals Obama’s core

February 14, 2011

Here’s what President Barack Obama’s new budget tells me: He hasn’t shifted to the center, he’s shifted into 2012 campaign mode, one that let’s him be who is really is.