James Pethokoukis

The Obama Misery Index

April 29, 2011

The Misery Index (inflation plus unemployment) through March was 11.48 percent (2.68 percent, 8.8 percent). By comparison, it was 10.52 percent in 1992 when Bill Clinton handily beat George Bush.  (It was nearly 21 percent in 1980 when Ronald Reagan crushed Jimmy Carter.) In fact, it has not been double digits for an entire year since Bush I’s first term. This goes along way in explaining why trust in Obama’s handling of the economy has collapsed. And a new Gallup Poll finds that Americans prefer the GOP budget approach to that of Democrats by 48 percent to 36 percent.

Obama’s approval ratings on economy are plunging

April 28, 2011

This new Marist poll has to rings some alarm bells in the White House (and  keep in mind this tracks registered voters):

Bernanke’s star turn may not win over Fed critics

April 27, 2011

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

Why liberals owe Reagan a huge apology

April 27, 2011

It’s the ur-talking point for modern liberals: The 30-year, free-market tilt of U.S. economic policy has been a failure. Tax cuts failed. Deregulation failed. Free trade failed. President Ronald Reagan failed.

Downside risks to a Ryan presidential run

April 26, 2011

Some excellent points by AllahPundit:

Would he be a unifying, consensus figure? He voted for TARP, the tax on AIG bonuses, and the auto bailout. Some would forgive him for that given his leadership on the 2012 budget, but some — like the libertarian wing — wouldn’t. Meanwhile, Democrats are planning to use his budget proposal to drive a wedge within the party by forcing a vote in the Senate and making centrist Republicans choke on the Medicare and tax provisions. Collins has already said she opposes his program; doubtless there are others. Imagine a presidential campaign where the candidate’s signature piece of legislation is hit with attack ads showcasing opposition from the moderates in his own party.

Why Paul Ryan could enter the 2012 presidential race

April 26, 2011

It’s not just Bill Kristol, gang. There’s desire at the highest ranks of the Republican Party, according to my reporting and sources, to see House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan seek the 2012 presidential nomination. Here’s why:

Why the GOP shouldn’t cave on taxes

April 25, 2011

Let me start off by saying I have no doubt that Sen. Tom Coburn wants smaller government — much smaller government. But is giving more money to government — and hoping against precedent that Washington just doesn’t spend the new cash –  the best way of doing it? Here is a bit from his Meet the Press interview yesterday:

Station Identification: Who is James Pethokoukis?

April 22, 2011

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What’s my story? I am the Money & Politics columnist for Reuters Breakingviews, the newish commentary wing of Reuters. I’m also an official CNBC Contributor, where they call me “Jimmy P.”

Budget group: New Obama budget plan would fail, could cause tax trigger to be pulled

April 21, 2011

The bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has taken a crack at deciphering President Barack Obama’s murky new budget plan, called the “Framework for Shared Prosperity and Shared Fiscal Responsibility.” And its findings are devastating:

Should Congress raise the debt ceiling? And for what price?

April 21, 2011

Conservatives have many flavors of views on this, as can be seen at an online symposium over at National Review Online. Here are two of the more interesting takes: