James Pethokoukis

Goldman Sachs 2011 forecast would be an absolute disaster for Dems

December 3, 2009

This would be New Normal with extreme prejudice. Bad for Democratic incumbents in the 2010 congressional midterms, but it should make the White House political team nervous as well for 2012. If Goldman Sachs is right, of course. Here is the firm’s 2011 forecast:

6 healthcare taxes that violate Obama’s tax pledge

November 20, 2009

These seem pretty indisputable. From Keith Hennessey:

1. The clearest violation is the 5% excise tax on cosmetic surgery and similar procedures (including teeth whitening). I assume that cosmetic surgery and similar procedures are skewed toward the high end of the income distribution, but there certainly are many people getting these treatments with annual family income less than $250,000.

Here comes Sarah Palin and the anti-Wall Street GOP

November 20, 2009

Don’t interpret passage of the watered-down Kanjorski amendment as the peak of the “break up the banks” movement. It may be about to get some new allies on the right, folks tired of Big Government, Big Money and crony capitalism.

How the economy is killing the Obama agenda

November 20, 2009

The less popular Obama gets, the less political capital he has to push forward his agenda. I think this chart from Nate Silver nicely encapsulates things:

Is ObamaCare in trouble in the Senate?

November 12, 2009

A few thoughts on healthcare reform:

1) Just talked to a very insightful Capitol Hill Watcher who doesn’t think Harry Reid has the votes in the Senate to pass anything resembling comprehensive healthcare reform. You can count out Lieberman, Landrieu, Nelson and maybe even Bayh.

Obama and independents

November 12, 2009

It is not just the gap, but the rapidity of the decline that it is so stunning.

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Unemployment and presidential disapproval ratings

November 6, 2009

Some interesting charts (via TNR) looking at the linkage between unemployment and disapproval ratings:

America’s jobless recovery

November 6, 2009

Here are a few opinions about the jump in the unemployment rate that caught my eye:

A few more thoughts on the shocking 10.2 percent unemployment rate

November 6, 2009

Some quick hits:

1) Remember in the early 1980s 7 straight quarters of avg. GDP growth of roughly 7% (!) lowered jobless rate by only 2.5 percentage points. Hard to see economy booming like that between now and Election Day 2010.

US unemployment rate surges to 10.2 percent; 190,000 jobs lost in October

November 6, 2009

This is an extraordinarily bad number, and makes this week a 1-2 punch for Democrats. A 10.2 percent jobless rate is the highest since April 1983, even though the labor force participation rate actually dipped a bit. The broader U6 measured surged to 17.5 percent. Recall that 7 quarters of average GDP growth of roughly 7 percent in the 1980s only brought down the unemployment rate by 2 1/2 percentage points. As the Labor Department sums things up: