James Pethokoukis

Obama’s vague Buffett Rule a political ploy

September 19, 2011

A few thoughts on the economics and politics of President Obama’s tax-the-rich “Buffett Rule” and new debt reduction “plan”:

Solyndra, the logical endpoint of Obamanomics

September 16, 2011

The bankruptcy of solar-panel maker Solyndra neatly encapsulates the economic, political and intellectual bankruptcy of Barack Obama’s Big Idea. It was the president’s intention back in 2009 to begin centrally reorganizing the U.S. economy around the supposed climate-change crisis.

Why Obama’s school rehab plan may flop

September 14, 2011

The point of President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act is, well, to create jobs. And the sooner the better, right? Unemployment is above 9 percent, and everyone from Wall Street to the Congressional Budget Office to the White House now thinks that number isn’t going to improve anytime soon. Thus Obama’s new $450 billion stimulus plan. But since this new proposal is structured just like 2009’s $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, it should be no surprise that it contains many of the same flaws as Stimulus 1.0.

Obama’s $447 billion reelection plan

September 9, 2011

There’s been much speculation that President Barack Obama will spend $1 billion to get reelected. Turns out those guesses were off by $446 billion.

Dr. Obama prescribes another big dose of stimulus

September 9, 2011

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

The infamous White House jobs chart

September 8, 2011

Using a handy graphic found in Mitt Romney’s economic plan, I’ve updated the Bernstein-Romer jobs chart from 2009 while also incorporating (in green) Wall Street bank forecasts (Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan) of where the unemployment rate might be headed.

Romney economic plan: necessary but not sufficient

September 7, 2011

There’s not much I actually dislike about Mitt Romney’s economic plan. I’m even OK with most of the aggressive China trade policy stuff (though probably not the “retaliation if not revaluation” stuff on the currency).

Obama’s 2012 hopes may rest on jobs plans

September 6, 2011

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

Romney’s “green” economic advisers

September 6, 2011

Later today Mitt Romney will unveil his 59-point economic plan. From what I read in Romney’s preview op-ed in USA Today, it looks a lot like his 2008 plan. For instance, it has an investment tax cut for the middle class just like the one offered three years ago. And Romney wants to cut corporate taxes. Last time he wanted to lower the rate to 20 percent. We’ll see this time around. One area where he could really separate himself is housing. Economic adviser Glenn Hubbard has a housing plan that would allow underwater homeowners to refinance at today’s superlow interest rates.  (In a recent chat, I talked to Hubbard about his views on economic policy: TARP, taxes, trade.)

My chat with Jon Huntsman about his economic plan

September 1, 2011

I spoke with Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman on Tuesday evening, just as he was putting the finishing touches on his economic plan, which he announced Wednesday. (Here are all the details.) Some excerpts from our conversation: