James Pethokoukis

The U.S. debt situation vs. AAA governments

August 10, 2011

This chart from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget shows the U.S. situation could be considered the most dire:

The stark difference between Reid’s defense cuts and Ryan’s

July 26, 2011

Here’s the big problem House Republicans have with Sen. Harry Reid’s budget plan: Some $1 trillion of its $2.7 trillion in savings over the next decade — or 37 percent — come from factoring in an expected troop drawdown over the next few years from Iraq and Afghanistan. This is something everyone expects — other than the Congressional Budget Office baseline fiscal forecast. It assumes no drawdown, and it is against CBO’s unlikely scenario that Reid compares his plan.

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.

GOP should ignore Moody’s debt ceiling warning

June 2, 2011

Team Reuters reports:

Moody’s Investors Service said on Thursday there is a very small but rising risk of a short-lived default by the United States if there is no increase in its statutory debt limit in coming weeks.

Cutting entitlement benefits to wealthier Americans

May 12, 2011

Good stuff on means testing from Charles Blahous over at e21:

As it happens, the two largest and fastest-growing areas of federal spending, Social Security and Medicare, are both ones for which the wealthiest Americans are fully eligible for rising benefits. Both programs are, to be sure, of extreme political sensitivity. But the financial imbalances in these two programs require correction by elected officials in any event. To the extent that spending on the wealthy is constrained within these programs, it will reduce the financial pressure for even more politically-sensitive changes to them.

Senate GOP’s budget proposal shows Dem attacks working

May 10, 2011

The “Restoring Balance” fiscal proposal created by Sen. Pat Toomey does lots of good things. Such as the following:

Boehner really isn’t asking for that much to raise debt ceiling

May 10, 2011

On  its face, House Speaker John Boehner’s demand for perhaps more than $2 trillion in spending cuts may look like a dangerous escalation in the political battle over raising the federal debt ceiling by a similar amount. But the reductions would be over 10 years, they’d be in line with several budget proposals, and they would represent only a modest down payment on austerity.

The fantastic assumptions of the “The People’s Budget” by House Democrats

May 9, 2011

What’s the true opposite of Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget plan?  Well, there’s the Obama “Framework,” but that is little more than a speech and a bunch of bullet points.  For a more serious and comprehensive liberal response, take a look at the “People’s Budget” produced by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Hacking Obama’s black box budget

April 20, 2011

On Wall Street, calling some strategy a “black box” is an epithet. The term implies financial flimflammery may be at play. Opacity may conceal trickery. Bernie Madoff had a black-box model that supposedly helped him pick winning stocks. The deception was in the details, or, rather, the lack of them.

How bad was Obama 2012 budget 1.0?

April 18, 2011

It was this bad. (Note that this Goldman Sachs chart also shows that Obama’s budget would have resulted in the pulling of the automatic tax hike/debt cut trigger suggested in his new budget speech/plan). The WH plan is OMB FY 2012 Budget: