James Pethokoukis

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.

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:

Huntsman tax plan goes big and bold

August 31, 2011

Current polls say Jon Huntsman, former Utah governor and ambassador to China, isn’t a top tier candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. But he certainly has a top-tier economic plan. Huntsman will offer a broad proposal later today – covering taxes, regulation, trade and energy. But I already had a peek at the tax part. And I think it is excellent. Huntsman says he would do the following:

Economy poised to make Obama a one-termer

August 22, 2011

Just how much would a continued weak economy hurt President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection chances? There are a few different ways of looking at this — and none of them seem particularly promising for the man currently occupying the Oval Office:

Obama faces worst-case 2012 scenario

August 19, 2011

On Wednesday, Economic Forecaster-in-Chief Barack Obama said, “I don’t think we’re in danger of another recession.” Shades of John McCain’s “The fundamentals of our economy are strong.”

Perry vs. Romney on Ben Bernanke

August 16, 2011

Gov. Rick Perry’s tough comments on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke are another sign that the Fed and monetary policy will be big topics in the Republican primaries and the general election. There is certainly a stark difference between how Perry talks about the Fed, and how Mitt Romney does. First, here is Perry from yesterday:

GOP presidential debate fell short on ‘the vision thing’

August 12, 2011

During the close of the 2008 presidential election campaign, John McCain was unable to finally and persuasively and understandably give Americans a vision of where he wanted to lead them should he become the 44th president of the United States. Here is McCain flailing at the beginning of the first presidential debate against Barack Obama:

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: