James Pethokoukis

Why Obama’s school rehab plan may flop

September 14, 2011

The point of President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act is, well, to create jobs. And the sooner the better, right? Unemployment is above 9 percent, and everyone from Wall Street to the Congressional Budget Office to the White House now thinks that number isn’t going to improve anytime soon. Thus Obama’s new $450 billion stimulus plan. But since this new proposal is structured just like 2009′s $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, it should be no surprise that it contains many of the same flaws as Stimulus 1.0.

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:

How U.S. stimulus is being exported

August 18, 2010

Interesting to see if any politicians pick up on this argument from former Morgan Stanley economist Andy Xie:

Once more on Blinder-Zandi and the Obama stimulus

August 10, 2010

Great piece by Lawrence Lindsey in The Weekly Standard on the stimulus bill and the recent Blinder-Zandi analysis of it:

ECB study casts doubt on wisdom of more stimulus

July 20, 2010

The EU’s central bank argues against spending more government cash (via taxpayers) to boost economies:

The U.S. state budget shortfall in a picture

June 14, 2010

This, from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

stategap

5 reasons why “Son of Stimulus” is a bad seed

May 26, 2010

The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act? Really? Even by the disingenuous standards of Capitol Hill, calling the $174 billion spending package making its way through the House “a jobs bill” takes some real moxie.

One more reason why 2011 looks bad

December 28, 2009

Interesting analysis from Deutsche Bank, especially the last part which I put in bold (via Econbrowser):

Big Government and the Big Split

December 28, 2009

The WSJ nicely sums up 2008:

To prevent crumbling housing and credit markets from sinking the broad economy, the Bush and Obama administrations and the Federal Reserve spent, lent and invested more than $2 trillion on one initiative after another. If you owned a credit card or a money-market fund, had a savings account, bought a Dodge pickup or even a hunting rifle, or borrowed to buy a home or finance a small business, odds are good that the U.S. stood behind you or the firm that served you.

Drilling into Obama’s jobs plan

December 9, 2009

Keith Hennessey:

This looks like a smaller version of the original stimulus law.  Its origins are more political and fulfilling a legislative need, than policy-driven. I’m OK with the UI extension and extending the health insurance subsidy, although I wish both were better designed. I generally support tax relief, but I am concerned the targeted capital gains reduction will give some cover to let the broader capital tax rates jump at the end of 2010.  That would be very bad. The spending programs will have little near-term GDP effect, and so should be evaluated in how they meet other policy goals.  They’re largely ineffective as immediate stimulus, because government spending is slow. The $250 check to seniors was pandering the first time Congress passed it (on a broadly bipartisan vote).  It’s still pandering.  Why are seniors more deserving of aid than, say, a low-income working family? The “using TARP dollars to help Main Street” is a transparent gimmick.  If you’re going to increase the deficit, it’s better just to stand up and say the deficit increase is worth the short-term economic benefit you think will result from the other policies. I suggest they do a targeted bill that contains only the UI and COBRA provisions, because I think the large deficit impact of the other provisions, relative to their small macroeconomic benefit, isn’t worth it.