Posts Tagged ‘James Pethokoukis’

“Selling” the job figures

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

The Hill has this,
Jobs forecast could help Obama — if he can sell it to the nation

Ponder that a moment. The President needs to “sell” the public on the job figures because the public just doesn’t “get” how good things are?

Economists who study the labor market said this week that they expect unemployment in 2012 to average 8.5 percent, down more than a point from the 9.6 jobless rate of today.

And the Dems took a beating because,

The White House’s failure to formulate a consistent, positive economic message is something that has frustrated Democrats, who believe a better communications strategy from the White House could have saved the party some of the House and Senate seats it lost last week.

Not that multiplying the national debt, bringing the size of government to historic highs, passing laws that are thousands of pages long while unread, and having 10% unemployment (while taking majestic trips overseas) matter; Heidi Shierholz thinks it’s that the White House failed to “formulate a consistent, positive economic message”.

James Pethokoukis read The Hill’s article, notices that it sets a very low bar, and asks, Will 8.5 percent unemployment be enough to reelect Obama?

So let’s say the unemployment rate is 8.5 percent on Election Day 2012. That is twice as high as what Americans have grown accustomed to. As recently as May 2007, it was 4.4 percent. It was also under 5.0 percent from July 1997 through August 2001. And before this recession, Americans hadn’t seen 8.5 percent unemployment since 1983. In addition, housing will still be in the tank, and budget deficits will still be in the stratosphere. Morning in America II? Good luck with that.

Ed Morrissey’s even tougher on Shierholz,

A reduction of a single percentage point in joblessness won’t move the needle for Obama. By the calculations of his economic team, Obamanomics was supposed to prevent unemployment from going above 8% in the first place. By that point, Obama will have had more than three years to improve the economic environment, and 8.5% won’t be seen by anybody as success in that effort. Not only will Obama have a difficult time justifying another four years of malaise in that set of circumstances, but Democrats in the Senate will be defending 13 more seats in the upper chamber than Republicans on the basis of that failure at the same time.

It won’t be a wind at the backs of Democrats in that environment; it will be a boot at their backsides.

Particularly if you are one of the still-unemployed.


VAT’s ahead?

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

In today’s podcast at 3:30PM,
James Pethokoukis of Reuters talks about ​the upcoming tax​ that will affect all of us, and injure the US’s competitiveness.

SPECIAL TIME: Today’s podcast at 3:30PM Eastern

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Instead of the regular 11AM time, today’s podcast will be at 3:30PM. My special guest will be James Pethokoukis of Reuters’s Political Risk. We will talk about VAT taxes, net neutrality and the business environment.

James Pethokoukis in today’s podcast

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

In today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern, James Pethokoukis of Reuters talks about government healthcare, the economy, and why foreign governments
are not buying US debt.

Chat’s open at 10:45AM. Join us!

The Worst Economy Leaders of 2008: Warren Buffett Edition

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

After I posted about James’s The 10 Dopiest Business and Economy Leaders of 2008 where I gave Warren Buffett an honorary mention, he did me the honor of posting on why Buffett. Thank you James!

The reason I’m picking on Buffett is that even when Berkshire Hathaway paid (at least according to Forbes) 2.5% of all taxes collected in 2003 while making only 1.2% of total corporate income that year, and the top 25% of all taxpayers currently pay 86% of all taxes, last May he famously called for an increase on both business taxes and on even more progressive personal taxes. While one may argue that “that was last May”, Buffett has been calling for this for years now, and I haven’t heard him change his mind now that we’re into a recession. The most he’s said recently is that Congress won’t be raising taxes for now, but eventually it’ll have to and “this would “be no disaster,” and that it “wouldn’t change most peoples’ lives.”

“It will be no disaster if tax rates are higher five years from now,” Buffett said, “and, in effect, I still think they’re going to have to be.”
He suggested that it would “not have a big impact on investment at all, if tax rates are changed. He said that tax rates on dividends, capital gains and retirement accounts called 401(k)s were examples of low tax rates.

When Buffett talks, policymakers listen. Until I hear him push for less government spending instead of higher taxes, I give him an honorary mention.


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James names The 10 Dopiest Business and Economy Leaders of 2008

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

James Pethokoukis, who was my podcast guest on Monday, has the list of The 10 Dopiest Business and Economy Leaders of 2008. Topping the list? Madoff, who made off with billion$:

1) Bernard Madoff. If the federal government’s accusations prove correct, Madoff also belongs on a list of America’s most active and energetic senior citizens. The 70-year-old money manager was arrested by the FBI for allegedly running the largest Ponzi scheme this side of Social Security, losing an estimated $50 billion in client money. Investigators say Madoff told them that his business was just “one big lie.” Terrible news for numerous wealthy individuals, banks, and charitable foundations. A perfect way to cap off a perfectly terrible year on Wall Street.

I would give Warren Buffet an honorable mention for his call for higher income taxes at the corporate level and more progressive income taxes at the personal level. Luckily no one’s acted on it yet, but time will tell. There are enough fools out there to want to raise taxes during a recession.


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