Tim Pawlenty's Cash Problem
May 23, 2011

With Mitch Daniels officially out of the presidential race, it seems like the entire GOP is emulating Ethelred the Unready. Well, not quite everyone. In a contrarian move at odds with the Reluctant Republican ethos of the party, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will actually make it official by declaring his candidacy today in Des Moines.  Along with the obligatory yawn-inducing “can you win Iowa?” question, Pawlenty almost certainly will be asked again about his ability to compete financially with Mitt Romney, the Daddy Warbucks of the truncated Republican field.

Pumped Up
April 28, 2011

Oil is up around $110 per barrel; the price of gas at the pump is approaching $4 per gallon. It’s clear the White House is nervous about this: Barack Obama has started mentioning gas prices everywhere he goes. There are two big questions here: Are rising gas prices going to sink Obama’s presidency? And, either way, is there anything that can actually be done about them? High gas prices are unquestionably a pain for many Americans.

The Trouble With Economics As Culture War
March 07, 2011

Interesting concession today from AEI president Arthur Brooks: What is that governing philosophy? Here is an answer from the great economist and Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek: As regards the economy, the government should provide a minimum basic standard of living for citizens, and address market failures in cases where government action can do so cost effectively. That's all. We should acknowledge that markets are not perfect.

The Worst Case
January 19, 2011

Author’s note: Oral arguments are finally over. By the end of this term, we’ll know whether the Supreme Court thinks the Affordable Care Act is constitutional—and, if not, which parts (if any) may survive. But what about the underlying legal theory? What about the claims, made by the health law's critics, that it's an unprecedented and unjustified violation of individual liberty? In late 2010, as these lawsuits were first moving through the courts, I decided to investigate that question, as both a policy and constitutional proposition.

Keen for Gene and the Green Machine
January 07, 2011

Most of us are used to seeing the words "Detroit" and "Downsizing" in headlines. And we know what to expect. But today's New York Times story on the "Downsizing of Detroit," written by Bill Vlasick, is something different. Downsizing in this case refers to the size of the cars American automakers are producing. It turns out they're getting smaller, as the industry focuses more on fuel-efficient vehicles. Of course, experts have been begging Detroit to build smaller cars for years.

Obama’s Hold on Big Business
December 02, 2010

Two weeks after a mid-term election in which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce helped thwart Barack Obama and the Democrats, the group’s CEO, Tom Donohue, gave a speech that read like a doubling down of sorts. “We cannot allow this nation to move from a government of the people to a government of the regulators,”he said.

The Wall St. Bailout Is Ending; Would Populism Have Helped Obama Survive It?
October 04, 2010

[Guest post by Noam Scheiber:] Sunday was the second anniversary of TARP, the just-phased-out government response to the financial crisis of 2008. Or, as the Republicans who voted for the program like to call it, the “$700 billion Wall Street bailout.” Suffice it to say, TARP is one of the least popular federal policies of its generation—right up there with the great Medicare surtax of 1989—and possibly several generations. That’s true even though it clearly succeeded in its short-term goal of stopping the post-Lehman panic, and at a fraction of the cost anyone imagined.

What You Need to Know About Austan Goolsbee (and Then Some...)
September 10, 2010

[Guest post by Noam Scheiber:] One of the least suspenseful decisions in Washington became official today when President Obama named Austan Goolsbee to be the chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers. Goolsbee, who’s on leave from the University of Chicago, is a longtime Obama adviser currently serving as a member of the three-person Council.

It’s the Politicking, Stupid!
August 30, 2010

Washington—President Obama's address to the nation on Iraq this week underscores the agony of his presidency, and its core political problem. Seen from the inside, the administration is an astonishing success. Obama has kept his principal promises and can take credit for achievements that eluded his Democratic predecessors. He pledged to have all combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this month and, as Obama will remind us on Tuesday, he's accomplished just that. Congress enacted a comprehensive health care bill and a sweeping reform of how the financial system is regulated.

The Unnecessary Fall
August 12, 2010

A counter-history of the Obama presidency.