James Pethokoukis

Obama’s new plan may actually rely 60 percent on tax increases

April 15, 2011

In his budget speech earlier this week, President Obama described his budget plan this way:

Obama’s upside-down tax reform

April 14, 2011

Larry Kudlow notices on part of the Obama budget/speech that doesn’t seem to echo Bowles-Simpson:

The big hole in Obama’s budget plan

April 14, 2011

Did the White House A/V dude load the wrong file into Obama’s teleprompter? While the president’s class-warfare attack on Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” would probably have earned rousing applause at a Jefferson-Jackson dinner, the speech failed to accomplish its advertised purpose: outlining Obama’s long-term blueprint to avoid a debt crisis.

The Obama debt plan, lightly dissected

April 14, 2011

Here is a pretty good rundown of President Obama’s plan  from Goldman Sachs (with my comments in bold):

New Obama budget plan leaves U.S. fiscal future fuzzy

April 13, 2011

This is my quick take on President Obama’s budget speech that went out to Reuters clients (more to come):

New Obama budget still leaves fiscal future fuzzy

April 13, 2011

By James Pethokoukis
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The anti-Paul Ryan plan

April 12, 2011

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has finally released its response to Rep. Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity.  ”The People’s Budget”  is almost like a parody of a liberal Democratic plan. It proposes raising taxes by $4 trillion over ten years and cutting spending (mostly defense) by $900 billion. (Ryan would cut spending by $6 trillion.) It would take tax revenue as a share of GDP to 22.3 percent vs. a previous all-time high of 20.9 percent in World War Two. Even worse, the plan only goes out a decade since its tax hikes still wouldn’t balance the budget long-term because it ignores healthcare reform.

Just how worrisome is the U.S. growth slowdown?

April 12, 2011

After taking a look at the new trade numbers, Wall Street firms are slashing their GDP growth forecasts for the first quarter of this year. Both Macroeconomic Advisers and Morgan Stanley now think growth will be just 1.5 percent. We are getting into dangerous territory, so says the Dallas Fed:

Will Obama endorse Bowles-Simpson debt plan?

April 12, 2011

Will President Obama finally endorse the debt plan of his own debt commission in his big speech tomorrow?

Romney 2012: Is U.S. ready for its first buyout president?

April 12, 2011

Mitt Romney’s campaign launch for the Republican presidential nomination predictably avoided mentioning the Obamacare-like health plan he created as Massachusetts governor. But it also gently tiptoed around his financially successful career as a buyout boss. With the financial crisis still raw to voters, selling them on the first president to be drawn from the buyout barony will be tough.