‘Trump’s agenda is anti-growth’: Trump’s new economic adviser in his own words

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Larry Kudlow, Trumps pick as chief economic adviser, has a history of radically different views to the presidents on the economy

Larry Kudlow, the CNBC commentator who has agreed to serve as Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, has a rich history of wildly inaccurate economic prognostications and radically different views to the president’s. Only time will tell if his opinions on Trump, free trade, tariffs and the state of political discourse will prove any more accurate …

Kudlow on the looming housing bubble …

“Homebuilders led the stock parade this week with a fantastic 11% gain,” Kudlow wrote in 2005. All the “bubbleheads” who expect “housing-price crashes in Las Vegas or Naples, Florida, to bring down the consumer, the rest of the economy and the entire stock market” have been “dead wrong”. They weren’t. Shortly after this pronouncement the housing crash helped plunge the US – and the rest of the world – into the worst recession in living memory.

Kudlow months into the 2007-08 crash …

“Despite all the doom and gloom from the economic pessimistas, the resilient US economy continues moving ahead,” he wrote in the National Review on 7 December 2007. “The Bush boom is alive and well. It’s finishing up its sixth consecutive year with more to come. Yes, it’s still the greatest story never told.” The financial crisis started a year later.

Kudlow on the subsequent recession …

Recessions are therapeutic,” he wrote in 2008. “They cleanse excess from the economy. Think about excessive risk speculation, leverage, and housing. Recessions are curative: They restore balance and create the foundation for the next recovery. Despite the housing and credit problem and the sub-prime virus, banks are still lending to businesses. So we don’t have a genuine credit crunch across the board. That is very good.”

A view probably not shared by the 10% of the US population that was unemployed a year later or for those still suffering today from the aftermath of the “therapeutic” recession, many of whom voted for Trump.

On Trump in August 2015 …

“And let’s not forget: The stock market, which is a leading indicator of the future economy, is in a wee bit of a correction. Given the recent rise of presidential candidate Donald Trump, we should all be thankful that stocks haven’t plunged. Trump’s agenda of trade protectionism, dollar devaluation, and immigrant deportation is completely anti-growth. It’s like Fortress America in an economy that is completely globalized and where the US must compete in the worldwide race for capital and labor. Trump’s policies don’t fit.” The stock markets have hit record high after record high under Trump.

The Access Hollywood tape …

After a tape surfaced before the election featuring Trump boasting about grabbing women by the genitals, Kudlow, a devout Catholic, reportedly said he was “furious” and threatened to vote for Mike Pence as a write-in candidate.

Kudlow on Nafta …

On the campaign trail Trump called the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere” and has threatened to scrap the deal unless Canada and Mexico give the US concessions. Kudlow is a fan.

“If this steel [tariffs] thing turns from being a minor irritant to a major calamity for our economy and our stockmarket, and if it brings down Nafta … that would be a major calamity for our economy.”

And Kudlow on tariffs …

Trump also campaigned on punitive tariffs to protect US steel and aluminium interests. Again, Kudlow not so much.

“Steel and aluminium may win in the short term, but steel and aluminium users and consumers will lose. In fact, tariff hikes are really tax hikes. Some of those 5m jobs will be put in harm’s way. And if they sell less to foreigners, the trade deficit goes up, not down,” Kudlow wrote in a column earlier this month entitled: Mr President, tariffs are really tax hikes.

Kudlow on political discourse …

And good luck with this: “I believe one of the things the Unites States needs besides King Dollar and tax cuts is civility. Our discourse must improve. I think the art of persuasion has been lost. JFK and Reagan were very good at that. Bill Clinton could be very good at that. I don’t like insults and I don’t like underhanded this and that. Name-calling – I don’t like any of that. This is about principles, not personalities.”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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