James Pethokoukis

Huntsman tax plan goes big and bold

August 31, 2011

Current polls say Jon Huntsman, former Utah governor and ambassador to China, isn’t a top tier candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. But he certainly has a top-tier economic plan. Huntsman will offer a broad proposal later today – covering taxes, regulation, trade and energy. But I already had a peek at the tax part. And I think it is excellent. Huntsman says he would do the following:

Panic at the White House? Gloomy Goldman Sachs sees high unemployment, possible recession

July 16, 2011

Last night in a new report, Democrat-friendly Goldman Sachs dropped an economic bomb on President Obama’s chances for reelection (bold is mine):

Obama really might have made it worse

July 6, 2011

The Republican charge is a body shot aimed right at the belly of President Barack Obama’s re-election effort: He made it worse.

Why the GOP shouldn’t go wobbly on taxes

June 27, 2011

It’s up to House Speaker John Boehner now. Democrats, the media and Wall Street will be pounding him to agree to raise taxes as part of a debt ceiling deal. But now is no time for Republicans to go wobbly. Here’s why the GOP should stick to its guns until Aug. 2 – and beyond if necessary:

Why we need a tax holiday for overseas earnings

June 20, 2011

U.S. companies have huge profits sitting offshore, and some in Congress want to give them a tax break as incentive to bring nearly $1 trillion back to America. The New York Times describes the plan this way:

Digging down into America’s weak labor market

June 20, 2011

The main reason the unemployment rate is so high is that the recession was so deep and the economic “recovery” is so anemic. But part of the problem may be a mismatch between job opening and the skills of unemployed workers. Here is WaPo’s Robert Samuelson:

5% or bust: more on America’s growth potential

June 17, 2011

So typical. The WaPo’s Ezra Klein quotes a bunch of people saying that there is no way, no how the economy can grow at 5 percent for a decade,  the “aspirational” economic goal of Tim Pawlenty.

Obama 2012, the dollar and the stink of instability

April 21, 2011

President Obama’s approval/disapproval ratings are now an upside-down 45 percent/50 percent, according to the RealClearPolitics average. If those numbers were to hold until Election Day 2012, Obama would be a decided underdog for a second term, at least that is what statistical  modeling tells:

Just how worrisome is the U.S. growth slowdown?

April 12, 2011

After taking a look at the new trade numbers, Wall Street firms are slashing their GDP growth forecasts for the first quarter of this year. Both Macroeconomic Advisers and Morgan Stanley now think growth will be just 1.5 percent. We are getting into dangerous territory, so says the Dallas Fed:

Incomes, not jobs, could sink Obama re-election

April 3, 2011

The Obama 2012 presidential campaign, which has now officially sprung to life, confronts a vexing political puzzle. The unemployment rate is plummeting. After the March jobs report release, White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee pointedly noted that the full percentage-point decline over the past four months is the largest such drop since 1984.