James Pethokoukis

CBO paints nightmare scenario for Democrats in 2010

January 26, 2010

According to the new CBO economic and budget forecast,  the US economy will grow at just 2.2 percent next year, keeping unemployment above  10 percent. In fact, it has the jobless rate averaging 10.1 percent vs. 9.3 percent in 2009. As the CBO puts it:

America’s challenge

January 22, 2010

From the great David Goldman:

When Reagan took office in 1981, the baby boomers were in their 20s and 30s, America had a 10% savings rate, the current account was in surplus, and America was the world’s largest net creditor nation. Reagan was able to cut taxes and finance an enormous budget deficit because the world’s demand for US Treasury securities was correspondingly large. In 2010, the baby boomers are in their 50s and 60s, America has saved nothing for a decade, the current account remains in severe deficit and the world is choking on the existing supply of Treasury securities. Cutting taxes to stimulate the economy is not as simple this time round.

My chat on financial reform with Nicole Gelinas, part two

January 19, 2010

This is the second edition of my chat with the fabulous Nicole Gelinas, author of the phenomenal must-read, must-own After the Fall: Saving Capitalism from Wall Street and Washington.  (Part one is here.)

Brown vs. Coakley: The Bay State Brawl!

January 19, 2010

A few thoughts and observation about  the US Senate race Massachusetts:

1) No exit polls, so we’ll have to wait for the actual vote count as well as turnout in key counties.

Ugh! 5 reasons why the Dec. jobs report was worse than it looked

January 10, 2010

Goldman Sachs thinks 4Q growth could be as a high as 6 percent. But don’t think the firm is as cheery about the labor market despite the “stable” 10 percent unemployment rate in December. Some bullet points:

Is Larry Summers on his way out?

January 5, 2010

The anti-Larry Summers buzz grow louder ( such as here, here and here.) There is a lot going on here. Liberals blogs have been all over him for pushing the $800 billion stimulus plan instead of the $1.2 trillion option presented to Obama by Christina Romer.  Liberals, including Paul Krugman, thought it was too small then and have double-downed on that opinion since.  (Alas, no high speed rail or modern-day WPA program for them.)

How does the U.S. economic recovery compare to past ones?

January 4, 2010

This handy chart comes courtesy of David Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff:

recovery010410

Black swans, good and bad, for 2010

January 4, 2010

A classic predictions piece from economic analyst Ed Yardeni crosses my desk. First, excerpts from his bullish Black Swans (70 percent probability, he says):

Why the Democrats will lose the House in 2010

December 30, 2009

The trend is not the Democrats’ friend. At least not in 2010. The party of the sitting president almost always suffers losses in midterm congressional elections. To that time-tested dynamic now add voter angst about high unemployment, big deficits and controversial legislation. Expect Senate majority leader Harry Reid to lose his effective 60-seat supermajority and Nancy Pelosi to hand the House back to the Republicans. Here’s why 2010 is looking like 1994 all over again:

Why this may still be the American Century

December 29, 2009

The always fantastic Joel Kotkin lays out the argument:

Demographics

By 2030, all our major rivals, save India, will be declining, with ever-larger numbers of retirees and a shrinking labor force.  … By then, the U.S. will have 400 million people, which may be more than the entire EU and three times the population of our former archrival Russia.