James Pethokoukis

GM IPO gives little reason for celebration

November 18, 2010

Now you too can directly own a piece of Government Motors:

General Motors Co shares gained as much as 9 percent on Thursday as investors bet that the top U.S. automaker can make a lasting recovery after repaying a big chunk of last year’s government bailout with funds raised in a landmark initial public offering. The start of trading in GM shares represents one of the final steps in a blockbuster initial public offering negotiated by the Obama administration that raised $20.1 billion after pricing its common and preferred shares.

Why 2011 will be the Year of the Tax Cut

November 3, 2010

American presidents usually win second terms, even if their parties suffer midterm blowouts. But President Barack Obama better not rely on history for a 2012 victory. To lift his political fortunes after Tuesday’s absolute shellacking — and those of the economy — he needs to work with incoming Republicans to do two big things: cut spending and cut taxes.  Here’s why:

Obamanomics to blame for historic Democratic midterm collapse

November 3, 2010

It wasn’t just the economy, stupid. The historic losses suffered Tuesday by Democrats in the U.S. midterm elections owe as much to the unpopular and off-point agenda of President Barack Obama as it does to high unemployment. A policy pivot might have limited the damage, but the White House failed to recognize the trouble until too late.

Obama’s Great Miscalculation and the midterms

November 2, 2010

Republican pollster Steve Lombardo nails it with this piece of analysis (via The Daily Caller):

Could Obama’s re-election plan be to devalue the dollar?

October 28, 2010

Will President Obama get re-elected in 2012 if his party suffers a crushing midterm defeat? His political team likes to point to the example of Ronald Reagan. Congressional Republicans were crushed in the 1982 midterms, but the Gipper cruised to victory two years later.

Obama deficit panel partying like it’s 1986

October 25, 2010

The WSJ says President Obama’s deficit panel is looking at cutting various tax breaks — also known as “tax expenditures” — as a way of reducing the budget deficit:

Maybe Obama should have pulled a Christie on infrastructure stimulus

October 22, 2010

Cause it really hasn’t worked out so well, as The Economist outlines.  The magazine criticisms are as follows:

Is the Democratic comeback fizzling?

October 19, 2010

Numbers from Gallup seem to say it is.

Gallup’s tracking of the generic ballot for Congress finds Republicans leading Democrats by 5 percentage points among registered voters, 48% to 43%, and by 11- and 17-point margins among likely voters, depending on turnout. This is the third consecutive week the Republicans have led on the measure among registered voters, after two weeks in September when the parties were about tied.

A decade-long dollar disaster

October 19, 2010

They’re calling The Oughts a Lost Decade. Yet how could that possibly be? The experts keep telling me a weak dollar brings prosperity. But look at this chart from Carpe Diem:

A bank tax? Really?

October 18, 2010

I just did a CNBC  spot debating whether robust banks profits should spur new efforts to tax them. Here were my talking points: