James Pethokoukis

Will Obamanomics slow the economy?

September 20, 2010

These two charts pretty well sum up one version of the economic impact of the White House tax plan — such as raising high-end tax rates — at least according to a computer model run by the conservative Heritage Foundation. You can disagree with the modelling, I suppose. But I am not sure any model would show higher taxes boosting the economy right now.

Ryan & Christie, the GOP’s Dynamic Duo

September 13, 2010

Meet Paul Ryan and Chris Christie, the GOP’s dynamic and dangerous duo. One is the author of “A Roadmap for America’s Future,” a bold blueprint that shows policymakers how they can shrink entitlement spending while also growing the economy. The other is the Garden State’s chief executive and YouTube sensation who’s implementing his own roadmap in a blue state drowning in red ink. Both are fighting back hard against the idea that government spending can’t be cut and thus taxes must be raised in order restore America’s long-term fiscal solvency.

7 things you need to know about Austan Goolsbee as CEA chair

September 10, 2010

Here is what I know, or what I think I know, about President Obama’s pick of Austan Goolsbee to be the new head of his Council of Economic Advisers:

Goldman Sachs on Stimulus 2.0

September 8, 2010

The Goldman Sachs econ team gives a rousing “meh” to the new Obama economic plan:

GOP to Obama: Freeze taxes for two years

September 8, 2010

The Republican reply to the POTUS tax plan:

Speaking ahead of an economic address set for later in the day by President Barack Obama, Boehner also proposed that the U.S. government cut spending for next year to 2008 levels — before federal corporate bailouts and Obama’s $814 billion economic stimulus plan.

The 9.6 percent unemployment rate and the 2010 midterms

September 3, 2010

Today’s dismal unemployment report fully locks in the autumn political narrative:

Obama’s Immaculate Concession?

September 2, 2010

The White House may be warming to the idea of using tax cuts to boost the U.S. economy. It’s a possible plan that could have scored loads of Republican votes had it been proposed in early 2009. But with the president’s popularity falling and congressional elections looming, support won’t be so easy to coalesce.

Obama’s September surprise?

September 1, 2010

A few initial thoughts on Obama considering tax cuts to boost economy (via WSJ story):

Are tax cuts on the Obama autumn agenda?

August 31, 2010

I would love to think so. And I know some folks on Wall Street would love to believe. But there are few signs that Obama will change course on taxes.  Here is White House economic adviser Jason Furman:

America’s Optimist-in-Chief

August 19, 2010

Economist Robert Brusca sums up today’s terrible economic news pretty well:

The day that optimism died. It has a time. It is sort of official: August 19, 2010. … The weak LEI is only bad news of the sort we have been getting. The rise in the jobless claims number posts a 500K number and makes the backtracking official and really bad.  …  But the report that disturbs me most is the Philly MFG index. The Philly index is actually a very good business cycle index. It does this job better than the ISM for some reason I can’t explain. … Optimism has died and there is a reason.  Things are not getting better at even the same rate. Those seeing the economy as getting better are in a distinct and shrinking minority.  … Brace yourself. I’m sorry to be the bearer of this bad news. This is not what I had expected.  I don’t know how much it will shake markets but I’d eventually expect something that can be measured on the Richter scale.