James Pethokoukis

5+ questions for … Sen. John Thune

March 3, 2011

Sen. John Thune isn’t running for president (at least this time around), choosing instead to fight big, wasteful government from his outpost on Capitol Hill.

The final nail in the coffin for tax increases

March 2, 2011

AFGHANISTAN/

OK, so the U.S. government’s auditor has found duplication and overlap that may be wasting $100 billion or more a year, according to the Republican senator who commissioned the study. How can anyone argue for higher taxes as long as Washington is so inefficient? A few points:

Why a Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket seems unlikely

March 2, 2011

USA-BUDGET/At a reporters breakfast meeting with Rep. Paul Ryan today, Ryan spoke mostly about the budget. (He says the GOP version will deal with entitlements.)

Why a top CEO rejects “pro-business” Obama

March 1, 2011

George Buckley, the boss at manufacturing conglomerate 3M, apparently didn’t get the memo about Obama 3.0 (vs. Campaign Obama and New New Deal Obama) being a “pro-business” president.

A government shutdown is perhaps postponed … temporarily

February 28, 2011

Reuters outlines the basics:

Playing for time to overcome a deep partisan impasse over the budget, senior lawmakers backed away on Sunday from a possible government shutdown. Washington will run out of money on Friday and non-essential services will halt unless action is taken. A short-term fix to buy time seemed increasingly likely.

Mary Meeker’s look at USA Inc.

February 25, 2011

Mary Meeker, the famed technology stock analyst now at venture firm Kleiner Perkins, has produced a ginormous report/PowerPoint presentation that looks at the United States as if it were a corporation. Now there’s little factually in the report that couldn’t be found by perusing the Congressional Budget Office website or the recent report put out by President Barack Obama’s debt commission. And I think her menu of policy recommendations isn’t particularly novel either. I wish, for instance, she had looked at Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to reform healthcare:

Scott Walker chops away at Democrat foundation

February 25, 2011

National Journal’s Reid Wilson paints a great picture of Scott Walker’s threat to government unions and the Democratic Party:

Why a U.S. government shutdown is worth it

February 25, 2011

The cost-cutting battle lines are drawn in the U.S. Congress. But the fight will affect only maybe a sixth of spending, with big-ticket items like defense and Social Security getting a bipartisan pass for now. Still, tackling even that small slice would save money and reassure markets. A temporary government shutdown would be a small price to pay.

Civil War 2.0 may turn governors into presidents

February 24, 2011

Six men with the rank of general during the Civil War went on to become  president of the United States. But a new kind of union battle — one being fought in places like Trenton and Madison and Columbus and Indianapolis — may be forging the next generation of leaders who will ascend to the White House. How state governors fare as commanders in this escalating conflict with Big Government Labor may determine who makes it all the way and who falls short.