James Pethokoukis

Obama’s wildly dangerous budget

March 22, 2011

President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget plan is dead on arrival — and rightfully so, it turns out. U.S. fiscal scorekeepers calculate it taking federal debt levels into dangerous territory. Meanwhile, both parties in Congress are showing tentative new signs of embracing fiscal responsibility. But without some leadership from the White House, nothing will get done.

Time to scuttle the 30-year, fixed mortgage?

March 17, 2011

Cato’s Mark Calabria makes a powerful case for doing so:

First, we should recognize that the 30-year fixed isn’t going anywhere. The “jumbo” mortgage market offers a 30-year fixed without a government guarantee. In fact, fixed-rate mortgages have historically been around half of the jumbo market.

Japan shows why U.S. must slash debt

March 15, 2011

You never know when a black swan will float your way. And when your credit card is nearly maxed out, dealing with emergencies can be tricky. A massive rebuilding effort may stretch Japan to its financial limits. Politicians in Washington should take note of the warning for several reasons:

Impact of earthquakes, natural disasters on economic growth in Japan

March 11, 2011

How will today’s terrible earthquake and tsunami affect Japan’s economy, not to mention those of other global economies? After spending all day reviewing a bunch of academic research, the verdict remains unclear. For instance,  simulations run by the Inter-American Development Bank find only the biggest disasters have an  impact. Take disasters in the 99th percentile:

Americans growing more worried about debt

March 10, 2011

They are still more concerned about jobs —  but debt fears are growing, Gallup says:

Yes, discretionary spending is a big problem

March 10, 2011

Congress should be looking hard at dramatic discretionary spending cuts.  It’s really gotten out of control (via the Congressional Budget Office):

Have Republicans forgotten Reagan?

March 10, 2011

My pal Charlie Gasparino questions whether the GOP is making a huge mistake by focusing so intently on cutting deficits and spending:

Who’s up, down for White House 2012

March 10, 2011

National Journal’s Hotline is out with its insiders’ take on the state of the Republican race for the White House:

Obama’s nightmare jobs chart

March 10, 2011

The infamous Bernstein-Romer chart, now updated for political freshness:

hellchart

Scott Walker, America’s Thatcher

March 10, 2011

“Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.” — Margaret Thatcher, May 4, 1979.