James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Bending the debt curve

Apr 8, 2011 19:45 UTC

Some budget plans do, some don’t (via e21):

e21chart

COMMENT

Ryan’s budget won’t stabilize the public debt because it would sink the economy into a depression.

Posted by GetpIaning | Report as abusive

Is the Ryan Plan a 73-page suicide note?

Apr 8, 2011 19:38 UTC

Charles Krauthammer asks the question:

In 1983, the British Labour Party under the hard-left Michael Foot issued a 700-page manifesto so radical that one colleague called it “the longest suicide note in history.” House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan has just released a recklessly bold, 73-page, ten-year budget plan. At 37 footnotes, it might be the most annotated suicide note in history.

That depends on whether (a) President Obama counters with a deficit-reduction plan of equal seriousness, rather than just demagoguing the Ryan plan till next Election Day, (b) there are any Republicans beyond the measured, super-wonky Ryan who can explain and defend a plan of such daunting scope and complexity, and (c) Americans are serious people.

My guesses: No. Not really. And I hope so (we will find out definitively in November 2012).

Again, is the Ryan Plan a blueprint only Ryan can sell?

COMMENT

Are you joking? The only thing recklessly bold about Ryan’s plan is that it doesn’t do anything meaningful. According to the CBO’s analysis, Ryan’s plan will not balance the budget until sometime between 2060 and 2080, and that’s while assuming a lot of rosy things that nobody can possibly predict. Moreover, while on this path Ryan’s plan will add an additional $63 trillion to the national debt. How will that affect the economy? What if the dollar crashes and countries like China won’t buy our securities anymore… then what? This plan is a sham.

Posted by AggieEngineer | Report as abusive

Just how fragile are Obama’s approval ratings?

Apr 8, 2011 18:58 UTC

Quite, says my pal Jay Cost over at TheWeeklyStandard:

President Obama’s overall job approval is split 47-47, but the numbers underneath it are not good at all. On the economy, AP-GfK has him at -6, Gallup at -17, Quinnipiac at -26, and CBS at -14. On health care, AP-GfK has him above water (+4), but Gallup and Quinnipiac have him at -17 and -16, respectively. Meanwhile, check out the right track/wrong track numbers, which are as negative as they have been at any point during Obama’s tenure.

All this tells me that those top line approval numbers are very, very weak for the president. They are probably being propped up by people who are not happy with the way things are going, don’t particularly like the job the president has done with specific issues, but have not yet connected all the dots. Just wait. As the Republican nomination battle begins in earnest, you’re going to see Jon Huntsman, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and others making the same kind of explicit argument that President Obama is a failure. In other words, they’re going to connect the dots for people, just like Trump did in this interview.

What happens to Obama’s job approval then? What happens when these Republican nominees start linking high unemployment, high gas prices, out of control deficits, and partisan gridlock to Obama?

And Jay can also add in rising interest rates  (Fed could be tightening in 2012) and the lousy real estate market. A long way to go to November 2012.

rcp0411

Why a government shutdown is even possible

Apr 8, 2011 18:50 UTC

What a very different political world it would be right now if President Obama had a) supported his own debt commission, b) devised a 2012 budget that made deep spending cuts over near and medium term, and c)  listened to his own economic team and suggested a Social Security fix. But with no leadership from the White House on the horizon, it made all that much more important for the Tea Party wing of the GOP to dig in and push real spending cuts now.

But certainly the Obama political team thinks the president would benefit from a shutdown, removing the political impetus to act. Plus, this administration simply does not believe the debt is a big problem right now, an important problem but not an urgent problem. Clearly …

debt0411

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