If you had told me in 2016 that Donald Trump was going to pick Gary Cohn and Larry Kudlow to be his chief economic advisers, I would have never voted for him:
“WASHINGTON — President Trump loves big personalities, live television, the stock market and loyalty. In choosing Larry Kudlow, a CNBC television commentator, to serve as the next director of the National Economic Council, he has checked all those boxes.
Mr. Kudlow, often clad in a pinstripe suit and colorful tie, is a frequent pundit on the financial news channel where he opines about everything from the economy to the stock market to tax cuts and free trade. He is an unabashed prognosticator who relishes making the kinds of provocative statements that Mr. Trump has turned into an art form. He has lamented “growing government dependency,” touted tax cuts for the wealthy and lavished praise on high-flying corporate executives …”
This is the final blow to the campaign myth that Donald Trump was ever a “populist.” It is dead and buried now. You can go ahead and start shoveling dirt on the grave. Larry Kudlow is the embodiment of supply side neo-liberal conservative orthodoxy on economics.
Here are just a few of Kudlow’s greatest hits:
“But the last thing we need now is root-canal economic populism from the campaign trail and the mainstream media telling us that Americans are unhappy. Unhappy? According to a Gallup Poll released last week, “Most Americans say they are generally happy, with a slim majority saying they are ‘very happy.’” They’re also prosperous. According to Investor’s Business Daily, household wealth in the U.S. soared 51 percent to $58.6 trillion in last year’s third quarter from $38.8 trillion in 2002.
Meanwhile, the Goldilocks economy remains alive and well. It’s still the greatest story never told. And while Goldilocks may have softened somewhat, getting her back on track is not rocket science. …”
“** Be sure to read Diana Furchtgott-Roth’s op-ed in today’s New York Sun where she debunks the myth of stagnating real median incomes.
This is the liberal left populist Lou Dobbs mythology perpetuated by so many Democrats in the last election.
Americans are richer than they think according to the former chief economist at the Department of Labor. …”
“But Larry Kudlow, inveterate supply-sider and leading candidate to run the Council of Economic Advisers, has another take, which he published in the National Review late last week: putting the obscenely wealthy in charge of the government is actually a great idea because, unlike the middle class, you can actually trust the rich. Sayeth Kudlow:
Why shouldn’t the president surround himself with successful people? Wealthy folks have no need to steal or engage in corruption. Their business success demonstrates that they know how to achieve goals and convince skeptics that good deals can be made to the benefit of both sides. Isn’t this just what America needs? …”
“Contrast all this with Hill-Bama. Take a look at some of the latest headlines. How about the front-page Wall Street Journal weekend story, “Democrats’ Attacks on Business Heat Up”? Or Sunday’s Washington Post editorial, “Trading Down — On economics, Mr. Obama goes populist,” which talks about Obama undoing free trade deals? Or today’s New York Times story by John Broder and Jeff Zeleny highlighting Hill-Bama’s populist class-warfare approach to businesses and successful investors?
Anti-business class warfare doesn’t work in the United States. John Kerry tried this tack in 2004. He lost. Ditto for Al Gore in 2000. Ditto for Michael Dukakis in ’88, Walter Mondale in ’84, and Jimmy Carter in ’80. It looks like Hill-Bama is making the same mistake all over again in 2008. …”
“Bannon’s peculiar notions of populism were essentially anti-growth. He believed higher taxes, ultra-protectionism, and a cheap dollar would help the middle class. Supply-siders like me know these policies only damage the economy, with the middle and lower classes suffering the most. …
Steve Moore, Art Laffer, and I had numerous conversations with Bannon, trying to talk him out of this. President Trump, we argued, would end Obama’s wars on success and business with policies that generate faster economic growth.
How does punishing upper-income people help spur investment or job creation? How does hurting the so-called rich help the middle class? Those are Democrat arguments, and failing ones at that.
A rising ride lifts all boats. JFK, Jack Kemp, and Ronald Reagan believed it. So does Donald Trump. …
Prosperity is American populism. And that’s the President Trump way.”
If President Trump’s way is neoliberal economics, it isn’t populism by any stretch of the imagination.