James Pethokoukis

Eat our peas? When will government eat its peas?

July 11, 2011

The President of the United States, this morning:

It’s not going to get easier; it’s gonna to get harder. So we might as well do it now, pull off the Band-Aid, eat our peas

The declining ‘stimulus’

July 11, 2011

During Obama’s news conference today (more on that later), the president said he thought lower stimulus spending was affecting economic growth. Now I doubt how much impact, if any, the $800 billion package had in the U.S. economy. But I thought this JPMorgan chart did illustrate the decline in spending:

[Chart] The unemployment rate they don’t want you to know about

July 11, 2011

The official U.S. unemployment rate is 9.2 percent. But what if that rate was adjusted just for all the discouraged folks who’ve dropped out of the labor force during the past few years? It would be over 11 percent. (And over 16 percent if you counted the underemployed.) This chart from JPMorgan makes the point:

No big budget deal? Blame Obama, not Boehner

July 10, 2011

President Barack Obama could have done two things that might have saved his Mother of All Budget Deals.

Like Reagan at Reykjavik, Boehner passes on a bad deal

July 10, 2011

So in the end, it was bit of a Ronald Reagan moment for John Boehner on Saturday. Just as the U.S. president walked away from a bad arms control agreement with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at Reykjavik, Iceland in 1986, the House speaker passed on President Barack Obama’s mega-debt reduction deal in Washington.

Will Boehner pull a ‘Reagan at Reykjavik’ and walk?

July 10, 2011

Will House Speaker John Boehner commit Republicans to raising $1 trillion in taxes as part of President Obama’s last-minute push for as much as a $4 trillion debt reduction deal? Obama and the GOP meet Sunday evening, but things continue to develop quickly:

Is Obama getting ready to snooker Boehner on taxes?

July 9, 2011

The media accounts of the tax reform deal being cooked up by President Obama and House Speaker Boehner aren’t all that clear. But it is looking like a big tax increase:

The horrendous June jobs report

July 8, 2011

When economists are expecting 100,000 or so net new jobs, and the Labor Department reports measly gains of just 18,000 (plus an increase in the unemployment rate to 9.2 percent), the reaction sounds like this:

Why the GOP should reject tax increases, in one chart

July 8, 2011

Why are Republicans demanding a debt deal that has big spending cuts but no tax increases? (Besides, of course, the fact that spending is the problem and the last thing this weak economy needs is a tax hike?) Maybe it’s because the last time they agree to one of these “$2 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax hikes” agreements, they got snookered.

Kudlow on Washington’s spending problem

July 7, 2011

Larry Kudlow breaks it down, even has a chart!:

The blue line you see is President Obama’s budget. The green line is Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget.