James Pethokoukis

Yeah, states have plenty of fat to cut

August 18, 2010

It may be long past time that US state and local governments start watching their pennies a bit more closely. As new research from George Mason University has found (bold mine):

Forecasting the Bush tax cuts

August 17, 2010

Wall Street’s conventional wisdom is that markets like political gridlock — but not if inaction means hitting a weak economy with a big tax hike. When Congress returns from vacation, it needs to deal with the expiring tax cuts signed by President George W. Bush. The Obama deficit panel, however, could limit any extension of them.

Ezra Klein: Welcome to the Recovery

August 9, 2010

WaPo blogger Ezra Klein yet again comes rushing to the defense of the Obama administration by making the case that the economy is pretty much as good as can be expected given the nature of the financial meltdown and recession.

Really, David Stockman?

August 2, 2010

David Stockman, Ronald Reagan’s budget chief, attacked Republicans in the NYTimes today. Does he really think the U.S. economy would be better today if the top marginal income tax rate was still 70 percent and the tax code left unindexed for inflation? Then there’s this bit:

David Brooks vs. Paul Ryan

July 30, 2010

This bit of David Brooks’ column today jumped out at me:

Paul Ryan, the most intellectually ambitious Republican in Congress … has been promoting a roadmap to comprehensively reform the nation’s tax and welfare system. On the tax side, he would sweep away most of the special-interest-favoring tax credits and subsidies and give people a chance to join a simple tax system with only two rates.

Zandi and Blinder make a weak case for Big Government

July 29, 2010

Mark Zandi and Alan Blinder have launched a maximum defense of all the government interventions in the economy since 2008. Without TARP, stimulus, various Fed actions  — the who kit and caboodle – their model estimates the following:

Obama should be pro-market, not pro-business

July 21, 2010

Should the Obamacrats be friendlier to Corporate America? Big Business has certainly amped up its kvetching of late. But it’s not Washington’s job to be pro-business and make nice with CEOs. That smells of crony capitalism and often just means rewarding big campaign contributors with government favors. The better measure of any given Washington policy is whether it respects markets.

VAT Attack! Will business go for it?

July 12, 2010

This WSJ story implies Big Business would accept a value-added tax for several reasons:

Christie’s moment of fiscal opportunity

July 12, 2010

The end of this NYTimes piece on N.J. Gov. Chris Christie sums up why Uncle Sam should not bail out the states:

A pro-growth Fed?

July 8, 2010

Washington continues to twist itself into knots over what to do about the weak economy. Congress can’t bring itself to spend anymore taxpayer dough on “stimulus.” So now it’s the Fed’s turn, apparently (via the WaPo):