James Pethokoukis

More evidence Medicare is a bad deal for younger Americans

June 27, 2011

A stunning table by healthcare economist John Goodman:

Goodman then explains why the twentysomethings take the hit:

No money has been saved. No investments have been made. No cash has been stashed away in bank vaults. Today’s payroll tax payments are being spent to pay medical bills for today’s retirees. And if any surplus materializes, it’s spent on other government programs. As a result, when today’s workers reach the eligibility age of 65, they will be able to get benefits only if future taxpayers pay (higher) taxes to support them.

Rep. Dave Camp battles the tax hikers

June 27, 2011

Great WSJ interview with House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp,  a Michigan Republican.  A few of the better bits (but please read it all):

For GOP, to tax or not to tax is the question

June 26, 2011

Reihan Salam may well be correct that if Republicans don’t “compromise on curbing tax breaks, we’ll wind up with marginal tax rate increases” since a high percentage (some 72 percent according to a recent WaPo poll) of Americans seems to favor raising top tax rates. But here is how I see things:

Where we’re at in the debt ceiling debate

June 24, 2011

A few thoughts:

1) Rs had every right to walk out. Dems pushing unacceptable tax hikes (including, basically, axing Bush tax cuts, along with an automatic tax trigger and a host of  tax breaks done away with) with no real entitlement reform.

A terrible day for tax hikers

June 23, 2011

Was it just a week or so ago when the GOP’s 30-year commitment to lower taxes was supposedly in shambles? That sure didn’t seem to be the case today:

Debt ceiling talk hit impasse! Markets freak! Investors panic!

June 23, 2011

First, a summary of today’s galaxy-shattering news from my beloved colleagues at REUTERS:

CBO: Obama’s new budget plan no plan at all

June 23, 2011

At a House Budget Committee hearing today, Chairman Paul Ryan and Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf had this exchange:

What’s the problem? Spending, not revenue

June 22, 2011

The CBO report also clearly shows that America has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

The scariest U.S. budget chart out there

June 22, 2011

The Congressional Budget Office just came out with its mid-year update to its long-term budget forecast. Lots of terrifying stuff in there. But if I was only going to pull out one bit, it would be this chart showing the likely path of America’s debt-to-GDP ratio between now and 2035 assuming a) likely fiscal policies and b) massive debt would actually impact economic growth. It’s not a pretty picture:

There’s supporting free trade, and then there’s being a sucker

June 22, 2011

When the country engaging in mercantilist-protectionist policies is also your banker, I guess you tend to look the other way. My fellow CNBC contributor Peter Navarro makes the devastating case: