James Pethokoukis

The reality behind the VAT

April 22, 2010

Over at the very fine TaxVox blog, Howard Gleckman writes a good explanatory piece on the current VAT debate. But this one  part really struck me:

The latest on Obama and the VAT

April 22, 2010

OK, here is what President Obama said on CNBC to reporter John Harwood about a value-added tax:

Team Obama already running the numbers on a VAT

April 19, 2010

Talk about burying the lede. This from the NYTimes and my pal John Harwood:

One way to reach that 3 percent [deficit-to-GDP] goal, by the calculations of Mr. Obama’s economic team: a 5 percent value-added tax, which would generate enough revenue to simultaneously permit the reduction in corporate tax rates Republicans favor.

5 reasons why the Tea Partiers are right on taxes

April 16, 2010

Here is the new Washington Consensus: American taxes must be raised dramatically to deal with exploding federal debt since spending can’t/shouldn’t be cut. Only the rubes and radicals of the Tea Party and their Contract from America movement think otherwise. And don’t worry, the economy will be just fine.

Why Henry Blodget is wrong about taxes

April 6, 2010

Henry Blodget says he’s pretty confident taxes are headed higher to deal with the historic rise in federal spending  and agrees with Northern Trust’s Paul Kasriel that higher rates won’t be an economy killer. Blodget quotes Kasriel:

Preventing the Great Stagnation

March 31, 2010

David Gitlitz, chief economist at High View Economics, has a thought or two about my “20-year bust” post:

Obama and America’s 20-year bust

March 31, 2010

It is an alarming, jaw-dropping conclusion. The U.S. standard of living, says superstar Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon in a new paper, is about to experience its slowest growth “over any two-decade interval recorded since the inauguration of George Washington.” That’s right, get ready for twenty years of major-league economic suckage. It is an event that would change America’s material expectations, self-identity and political landscape.  Change in the worst way.

Becker on on what healthcare reform should look like

March 30, 2010

An amazing piece of healthcare analysis by the University of Chicago’s Gary Becker. The whole analysis deserves reading, but a few key points:

Economic guru: US faces its worst two decades in history

March 29, 2010

Get ready for the Long Recession.

Well, at least a long period of time where it is going to seem like the US economy is kind of sickly. That is the conclusion of productivity guru Robert Gordon in a new paper. He says US living standards now face their slowest two-decade growth rate “since the inauguration of George Washington.” More:

A Wall Street conspiracy to kill Social Security?

March 26, 2010

Finally, a Wall Street conspiracy theory without Goldman Sachs at its heart. This one posits that bond rater Moody’s wants to ding the U.S. credit rating so panicky politicos will privatize Social Security. That would sent big bucks to the firm’s big bank clients. If only it were true.