James Pethokoukis

Can Obama’s 2012 hopes survive 9%+ unemployment?

August 5, 2011

After looking at today’s anemic unemployment report, Goldman Sachs drops this H-bomb on the Obama campaign:

Washington’s next challenge

August 3, 2011

By James Pethokoukis
The opinions expressed are his own.

Reuters invited leading economists to reply to Larry Summers’ ope-d on his reaction to the debt ceiling deal. We will be publishing the responses here. Below is Reuters Breakingviews columnist James Pethokoukis’ reply. Here are responses from Laura Tyson, James Hamilton, Robert Frank, Russ Roberts, Benn Steil and Donald Boudreaux as well.

More evidence U.S. economy approaching stall

August 2, 2011

The U.S. economy doesn’t like to hover. If it isn’t expanding at a 2 percent or higher annual pace, it risks slipping into recession. As I mentioned in a post last week:

A debt deal, but still plenty of fiscal uncertainty

August 1, 2011

President Obama says the debt ceiling and budget deal will “begin to lift the cloud of debt and the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over our economy.”  But only begin, and just barely. Consider the following questions (via IHS Global):

On the debt ceiling deal, direction more important than degree

August 1, 2011

If you want to read the bill yourself, here you go. And here is a nice summary from MF Global:

Debt ceiling update: tax increases still a no-go

July 31, 2011

First, the outline of the emerging debt ceiling deal (via Reuters):

1) The emerging deal includes a two-step process to cut the deficit about $2.8 trillion over a decade while increasing the debt ceiling by a similar amount to cover U.S. borrowing beyond the November 2012 election.

Sputter to stall: U.S. economy dips into danger zone for recession

July 29, 2011

More evidence, as if we needed it, that the U.S. economy is in sad shape. America’s gross domestic product grew just 1.3 percent in the second quarter, according to the Commerce Department. And first-quarter growth was revised down to just 0.4 percent. This is now the weakest two-year recovery since World War II.

Boehner I vs. Boehner II vs. Reid

July 28, 2011

Still lots of confusion about the fiscal impact of the various budget plans. This chart from Barclays, looking at just non-war, discretionary spending, helps explain things.

Is Boehner’s job at stake?

July 27, 2011

John Boehner is fighting hard to right Washington’ s finances. But is he also, in effect, fighting to keep his job?

Two cheers for Boehner’s two-step plan

July 26, 2011

Now is not time to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Neither the Reid budget plan nor the Boehner budget plan packs the fiscal wallop of Cut, Cap and Balance. But significant progress on cutting debt can still be made before the Aug. 2 (or is it Aug. 8 or 10 or …) debt ceiling deadline. And by that measure, the Boehner plan is not only far better than the Reid plan, it is a pretty darn good plan in and of itself. While both plans would cut some $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending over a decade, Reid would then close up shop until 2013. The only other major cuts would be to future defense spending that no one really expects to happen.