James Pethokoukis

Is Obama ignoring Wall Street?

October 1, 2009

This from Ed Yardeni, keying off a recent Charlie Gasparino’s column:

There is no one in the Obama administration like Robert Rubin, who had the ear of President Clinton. Rubin convinced Clinton that the Bond Vigilantes would riot if he pursued policies that would lead to a structural federal deficit, i.e., one that would widen despite a growing economy. So far, the Bond Vigilantes haven’t gone on a rampage despite projections of $10tn in deficits over the next 10 years. So it is no wonder that Obama’s political advisors are acting as though they’ve been handed a blank check by the bond market. However, the longer they ignore the economic advisors, the greater is the likelihood that the blank check will bounce.

Obama’s not-so-secret plan to raise taxes

October 1, 2009

Does President Obama have a secret plan to raise taxes on middle-class Americans — and,well, pretty much everybody else — with a European-style, value-added tax? Actually, it’s not such a big secret. Connect the dots:

Will financial markets force a $400 billion tax hike or a VAT?

September 30, 2009

So I am at this CAP thing on the deficit where talk of higher taxes was hot and heavy. Both Robert Rubin and Roger Altman both seemed to imply that the financial markets will force action sooner rather than later on the deficit — and that means higher taxes.

Is Obama planning a VAT surprise for America?

September 28, 2009

So John Podesta, co-chairman of Obama’s presidential transition team, says a value-added tax is “more plausible today” than ever, adding that “there’s going to have to be revenue in this budget.” A few thoughts:

10 reasons why the US economy will stay weak

September 25, 2009

From David Goldman’s Inner Workings blog (the actual post of chock full of charts, expanded explanation):

How to kill a democracy

September 25, 2009

The Tax Foundation does the math:

New reports from the Tax Foundation show that President Obama’s policy proposals will increase the financial dependence of middle-income Americans on the federal government.

Can Obama spend US back into prosperity?

September 22, 2009

Presidents, particularly Democrats it seems, love to try and attach catchy titles to their agendas. FDR’s New Deal and JFK’s New Frontier made for powerful branding. Bill Clinton’s New Covenant, not so much.

My chat with White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein

September 17, 2009

I recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Jared Bernstein, the chief economic policy adviser for Vice President Joe Biden. Here are some major excerpts of what Bernstein had to say about healthcare reform, the Obama stimulus, the deficit and the future of the American economy.

Obama forgets to talk about unions when speaking to union

September 15, 2009

It was at this point during the president’s Ohio speech to GM workers today that I thought he was going to talk about card check: “And yes, just in case you were wondering …”

Will Obama kill all the Bush tax cuts?

September 7, 2009

Might the POTUS get rid of all the Bush tax cuts, even the ones for the middle class? Larry Summers certainly has hinted at this. And I missed this one from the WaPo a couple of weeks back: