James Pethokoukis

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.

Ryan plan would boost U.S. economic security

April 7, 2011

It’s intriguingly simple: Limit future increases in Medicare and Medicaid healthcare spending to cut debt. That’s the easy-to-understand core of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan, The Path to Prosperity. But the idea risks a voter backlash if medical inflation doesn’t slow, too. Otherwise, quality and service will suffer, badly fraying the social safety net. Republican Ryan thinks injecting some needed market discipline rather than sticking with President Barack Obama’s bureaucratic tinkering will do the trick. And he’s right.

Can America grow its way out of its debt problems? No

March 9, 2011

That’s the question CNBC’s Larry Kudlow asked House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan yesterday, which resulted in a fascinating exchange:

What Paul Ryan hopes to do

January 5, 2011

In honor of the Congress, the good folks over at e21 have republished a column by Rep. Paul Ryan on what he wants to accomplish. This is good stuff:

The coming fiscal war between the old and the young

June 2, 2010

In the London Times, Anatole Kaletsky outlines a soon-to-escalate generational conflict between seniors and younger voters :

Will seniors nix spending cuts to fix deficit?

May 24, 2010

My pal Bruce Bartlett says U.S. demographics support his position that America will need massive tax increases rather than massive entitlement cuts to get its fiscal house in order:

Balancing the U.S. budget

December 15, 2009

The always insightful Pete Davis opines on the Pew-Peterson debt report at the must-read Capital Gains and Games blog:

Krugman: U.S. budget is fine if nothing goes wrong. What?

August 28, 2009

What a weird column from Paul Krugman. He says Americans shouldn’t worry about the ten-year budget forecasts ($9tr debt,  70 percent of GDP) because a) plenty of other nations have had far higher ratios, b) other countries continue to lend to the US, and c) it’s the longer-term liabilities that are the problem.

Study: U.S. budget deficit could average $1.4 trillion a year for a decade

August 26, 2009

Change a few assumptions and those government budget forecasts start to look scary. The Concord Coalition makes a few tweaks to the Congressional Budget Office model: