James Pethokoukis

4 reasons why the July unemployment report was worse than you think

August 8, 2009

Lots of temporary jobs and discouraged job seekers are the story. From David Rosenberg at Gluskin Sheff on the unemployment report:

Why the unemployment rate is headed higher

August 7, 2009

There were no high-fives at the White House today because of this probable economic reality, as explained by the guys at RDQ Economics (the great John Ryding and Conrad DeQuandros):

5 political impacts of today’s July jobs report

August 7, 2009

Rising U.S. unemployment, to borrow a phrase, has been a giant vampire squid wrapped around the face of the Obama administration, sucking out its popularity and thus draining momentum from its legislative agenda. But now the White House received some good news from the jobs front. The unemployment in July unexpectedly fell to 9.4 percent from 9.5 percent in June. This breaks a string of 16-straight months where the unemployment rate had either risen or stayed flat, including every month of the Obama term. (Recall the rate was 7.6 percent in January.)

Unemployment rate in July slips to 9.4 percent; another 247,000 jobs lost. Yuck

August 7, 2009

The bad news arrives. Here is the latest from the Labor Department on the July unemployment rate and the number of jobs lost (bold is mine):

Tax the rich. Good luck with that

August 6, 2009

Government revenue estimates of future tax hikes on the wealthy always overestimate how much dough they will bring in.  This is certainly the case with the 1993 Clinton tax hikes. Now why is that? First up is my Reuters compadre, the so-smart-he’s-scary Christopher Swann:

Will healthcare reform create trillion-dollar budget deficits?

August 6, 2009

That is the contention of former White House budget official James Capretta who does the math:

5 reasons why Obama will hike middle-class taxes

August 4, 2009

JamesPethokoukiscrop.jpgC’mon, how about some Walter Mondalesque candor from the Obama White House on taxes? Yes, yes, it was 25 years ago this summer that the Democratic presidential candidate self-immolated on the issue at his party’s convention in San Francisco. But surely Americans have become more urbane and sophisticated since then as to what makes for sound economic policy, oui?

Cash for clunkers is Obamanomics in microcosm

August 3, 2009

Think of “cash for clunkers” as a sort of bizarro twin of that “bucks for banks” program from last autumn. You know, the one where Congress authorized $700 billion to keep financial clunkers on Wall Street up and running.

Why Team Obama thinks your taxes are going up

August 3, 2009

The White House can try and walk back from the comments yesterday by Geithner and Summers, but don’t buy it. Pretty much — like 99.9 percent — of center-left economists think Americans don’t pay enough in taxes to support the modestly-large welfare state/military superpower that they seem to prefer. And by not enough, I mean $500 billion to $1 trillion a year too little.

Will GDP pop in the third quarter? If so, will Obama smile?

August 3, 2009

That is the case being made by the always-great Ed Yardeni (bold is mine):

If nothing changes during Q3, real GDP will be up 4.6% during the quarter. This isn’t our forecast. It is arithmetic. If there is no change in final sales to consumers, business, governments, and foreigners, and if nonfarm inventories are unchanged, that’s how much real GDP will increase. This is because nonfarm inventory investment was minus $144.4bn (saar) during Q2. If it is zero during the current quarter, real GDP will surge. The inventory investments component of real GDP has been negative for five consecutive quarters, the longest stretch since Q1-2001 through Q1-2002. … By the way, during the first quarter of the last 10 economic recoveries, real GDP rose 5.8% on average, with a high of 17.2% during Q1-1950 and a low of 1.4% during Q4-2001.