James Pethokoukis

Peter Orszag, the bizarro David Stockman

June 22, 2010

Peter Orszag never really seemed to want the job as President Barack Obama’s budget chief. His successor should be just as reluctant, having to deal with the fiscal aftermath of the stimulus and healthcare plans.

A coming age of austerity? Maybe

June 18, 2010

A Reuters Breakingviews column:

Europe’s newish cult of austerity may have some converts in Washington. The U.S. Senate is having surprising trouble passing a routine spending bill that grows the budget gap. Bipartisan resistance could hint that deficit hawks are starting to gain the upper hand in Congress.

Did Goldmans Sachs just douse Dems 2010 election hopes?

June 18, 2010

Liberal pundits and economists such as Paul Krugman have no use for the White House “Summer Recovery” PR tour. (Note that it isn’t called the “Prosperity Tour.”) They continue to attack the Obama administration for worrying too much about the budget deficit and too little about high unemployment. The White House response has been three-fold.

Here’s what’s missing

June 17, 2010

How to lower the unemployment rate. How …  to … lower … the unemployement … rate. Lesse, I dunno …maybe growth the economy faster? Here is a bit from the UCLA Anderson Forecast:

Why economy may not save 2010 Democrats

June 15, 2010

“Hope” wasn’t just a major theme of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. It also might be a one-word summation of the 2010 midterm campaign strategy devised by the White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill. They hope voters get more comfortable with healthcare reform. They hope voters really care about the technocratic bank bill. And, most importantly, they hope voters begin to sense some impact of a slowly recovering economy on their personal financial situation.

The U.S. state budget shortfall in a picture

June 14, 2010

This, from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

stategap

The Dirty Shirt Theory and the Keynesian Endpoint

June 14, 2010

From Ed Yardeni:

The bears are mostly, and rightly, concerned that many economies around the world are overly leveraged. They claim that both private and public debt burdens are so great now that they are depressing economic growth. This has the potential to cause a deleveraging death spiral for the global economy according to the most bearish of the bears. The bulls believe that the global economic recovery has plenty of forward momentum and is self-sustaining even if many governments are forced to implement austerity measures to placate the Bond Gods.

Bill Gates’ Big Government plan for clean energy ‘miracle’

June 14, 2010

Bill Gates and a bunch of other top corporate executives want Uncle Sam to spend a lot  more on clean energy research and development. Here’s why:

US ready may become world’s highest corporate taxer

June 14, 2010

The US has the second highest corporate tax rate among advanced economies. But maybe not for long. Tell the people the bad news, Reuters:

Obama budget cuts only a start

June 9, 2010

Cutting 5 percent of optional government spending won’t plug America’s fiscal hole. Still, President Barack Obama’s proposal may buy a bit more time with nervous financial markets. It could even kick-start a needed rationalization of government outlays. Every little helps — but Obama needs to go further.