James Pethokoukis

Even Obama’s debt panel doesn’t buy Obamacare

December 6, 2010

President Barack Obama’s debt reduction commission defined tough fiscal choices for Washington, though its members weren’t unanimous enough to force the ideas on lawmakers. But even if they had, the panel pulled punches on healthcare cuts. Reducing that burden may be central to the next presidential election.

Now it’s Tom Coburn vs. Grover Norquist

December 2, 2010

It is getting interesting. On Twitter, Ryan Ellis (@taxplayer) of Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform had this to say about Judd Gregg, Tom Coburn and Mike Crapo supporting the Obama debt panel recommendations: “by agreeing to the simpson-bowles tax hikes, pledge breakers coburn, crapo, and gregg have admitted they lied about taxes to get elected.”

Paul Ryan vs. Tom Coburn over Obama’s debt commission

December 2, 2010

Rep. Paul Ryan says he will vote “no” on the recommendations of the Obama debt commission: “Obviously, I’m not going to vote for it. … Not only didn’t it address the elephant in the room, healthcare, it made it fatter.”

Replacing Larry Summers …

November 22, 2010

From the White House’s perspective, the ideal replacement for Larry Summers as chief economic brain would be a female chief executive who could reach out to Republicans and the business community without irking liberals. Buzz about the candidacy of Roger Altman, the founder of investment bank Evercore, shows how difficult it may be for President Barack Obama to land that dream candidate.

Paul Ryan’s pro-market healthcare reform

November 19, 2010

Rep. Paul Ryan, along with fellow Obama deficit panel member Alice Rivlin, has put together a plan to cut the growth of government healthcare spending. This is the heart of it:

Balance the U.S. budget? I did it in under a minute

November 15, 2010

So I took a crack at the budget simulator cooked up over at the NYTimes Web site. It starts out with a projected 2015 deficit of $418 billion and a projected 2030 deficit of $1.355 trillion. My goal was to do it through 100 percent spending cuts.

Bernanke probably agrees with the anti-QE2 letter

November 15, 2010

A bunch of right-of-center investors, economists and journalists (under the banner of the great e21 group) have signed an open letter to Ben Bernanke:

Peter Orszag: Sorry, America, you are way undertaxed

November 13, 2010

Former Obama budget chief Peter Orszag says the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction plan — which would raise the U.S. tax burden to its highest level in history as a percentage of GPP — doesn’t go far enough:

How Felix Salmon ruined my lovely Friday

November 12, 2010

There I was, enjoying a lovely Washington afternoon — and then I read this from colleague Felix Salmon on the draft report from the Obama deficit panel:

Is Jared Bernstein the next director of the NEC?

November 11, 2010

Who will replace Larry Summers as the director of the National Economic Council? One well-placed source of mine claims it is likely to be  Jared Bernstein, currently VP Joe Biden’s economic guru.