James Pethokoukis

An economic counter-factual

November 4, 2009

Scott Grannis, the Calafia Beach Pundit, outlines a different “stimulus path”:

What the polls say about Obama, one year since being elected

November 4, 2009

Scott Rasmussen crunches the numbers:

As president, Obama lost the support of Republicans in February during the debate over the stimulus package. Over the summer, economic concerns and the health care debate cost the president support among unaffiliated voters. By October, a month-by-month review showed that Obama’s overall job approval had slipped to 48% among Likely Voters.

‘Permanent Democratic majority’ begins to unravel

November 4, 2009

America’s “permanent Democratic majority” ran smack into the economy’s apparent “new normal” of high unemployment and big deficits. Score one for the economy — and for Republicans.

Elections in Virginia, New York and New Jersey show shift in political landscape

November 3, 2009

First, a few obsevations:

1. Democrats are getting hammered in swing state Virginia. It’s not just Bob McDonnell, down ticket, too.

A tale of two economic recoveries

November 3, 2009

Which one do you believe? John Hussman sketches them out:

1) One possibility, which is clearly the one that Wall Street has subscribed to, is that the recent downturn was a standard, if somewhat more severe than normal, post-war recession; that the market’s recent strength is an indication that it is looking forward to a full “V-shaped” recovery, and that the positive print for third-quarter GDP is a signal that the recession is officially over. Applying the post-war norms for stock market performance following the end of a recession, the implications are for further market strength and the elongation of the recent advance into a multi-year bull market.

Economic fears drive Pelosi’s healthcare push

October 30, 2009

First you have to realize that Mark Zandi has become the de facto chief economist for congressional Democrats. Here is a bit from his testimony yesterday to the Joint Economic Committee:

Obama’s bad economic bet may ruin Democrats

October 29, 2009

The anemic third-quarter U.S. GDP report is another indication that President Barack Obama’s economic gamble may yet fail to pay off. And that could be terrible news for Democrats heading into the 2010 midterm elections.

Scary unemployment in metro areas

October 26, 2009

An analysis by IHS Global Insight looks at unemployment in major metro areas:

Looking ahead, payrolls will be rising in most metros for consecutive quarters a year from now, but the unemployment rate will have shown little improvement, as employment gains will not be sufficient to absorb enough job seekers.  A third of metro areas will have jobless rates in double digits in the fourth quarter of 2010, with 16 exceeding 15%.  … By the end of 2012, the jobless rate will still be above historic norms, but it will finally slip below 8% in more than half of metro areas.

U.S. unemployment, state by state

October 22, 2009

A great map by NPR. Notice the high rates in swing states like Florida, Ohio and Michigan.

Romer: Unemployment likely to remain “severely elevated”

October 22, 2009

Watch CEA chair Christina Romer manage voter expectations:

Consistent with the recent cyclical pattern, the unemployment rate is predicted to continue rising for two quarters following the resumption of GDP growth. Whether this happens and how high the unemployment rate eventually rises will obviously depend on the strength of the GDP rebound. …  With predicted growth right around two and a half percent for most of the next year and a half, movements in the unemployment rate either up or down are likely to be small. As a result, unemployment is likely to remain at its severely elevated level.