Larry Kudlow is an Idiot; but, at least, He’s Dangerous!
Lampooning Larry Kudlow is like shooting fish in a supermarket. I ought to be embarrassed at going after dead prey and scaring innocent people. Now one of Trump’s chief economic advisors, Kudlow is a Washington-Wall-Street insider to the core of his mousy, shriveled soul: A turncoat Democrat — who, in his early years, worked on campaigns alongside Bill Clinton, John Podesta, and Michael Medved — Larry Kudlow has flipped as big as you can flop.
Kudlow began his career as a junior economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York under a division that handled open-market committee operations. Kudlow also worked as an advisor to Freddie Mac and was employed many years by Bear Stearns until they wouldn’t have him any longer because of his cocaine habit, which he maintained at a cost of $10,000 a month. His alcohol addiction was much cheaper, so he should have stayed with that. In the process, he burned his way through two wives and moved on to a third.
Larry, in other words, has lived his entire smelly life inside the beltway of Washington, DC, and at the heart of the establishment’s world of finance in New York. You cannot spend your entire life in the fish barrel and not stink of fish. Guilt by association is a fallacy, of course, but Larry Kudlow has a lot of associations worth noting if you can stand the stench long enough to count them all.
After turning from Democrats, this switch-hitter of high principle became one of the founding fathers of supply-side economics. During the Reagan administration, Kudlow worked alongside David Stockman in the Office of Management and Budget to plan and produce Reagan’s budget. (Stockman was rapidly able to see the truth about the plan’s failed presuppositions and moved on. Larry remained behind as high priest.)
Larry Kudlow is also a TV personality who has regularly matched wits with his cohost, Jim “Crazy” Cramer, another giant talking head from whom I store quotes in my “idiot box” for occasional use in articles about the world’s most odious economists and fiasco-ridden financial advisors.
Larry Kudlow’s idiotic and dangerous beliefs
In an article titled “Taking Back The Market — by Force” in 2002, Kudlow advocated the overthrow of Iraq:
A lack of decisive follow-through in the global war on terrorism is the single biggest problem facing the stock market and the nation today…. Bush must not allow Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden to remain in play…. With weapons of mass destruction at his disposal, and through his financing of terrorism worldwide, Saddam is a dangerous loose end…. Decisive shock therapy to revive the American spirit would surely come with a U.S. invasion of Iraq. Why not begin with a large-scale special-forces commando raid on the Iraqi oil fields? …A couple of weeks later a final assault on Baghdad can take place. A small war, to use Wall Street Journal editorialist Max Boot’s lexicon, led by fast-moving special forces and leather-toughened Marines, and assisted by high-tech precision bombs and air cover, can get the job done…. The shock therapy of decisive war will elevate the stock market by a couple-thousand points. We will know that our businesses will stay open, that our families will be safe, and that our future will be unlimited. (National Review)
Ahh, shock and awe for the market. Nothing works better than stacking up corpses like cord wood under the smoke of war to heat up the US stock market. Apparently, Lovable Larry loves the smell of napalm in his aftershave in the morning. War is the way to riches.
O.K., so you can’t expect an ivy-league economist to have accurate knowledge or insight about weapons of mass destruction; but you should be able to expect him to see an economic time bomb if one is ticking in the middle of his living room, right? As a life-long beltway economist from the New York financial district, Larry’s track record for predicting recessions is stunning … for his ability to miss the biggest and most obvious recession of all. In 2007, Larry wrote insightfully in the National Review,
The recession debate is over. It’s not gonna happen. Time to move on…. The Bush boom is alive and well. It’s finishing up its sixth splendid year with many more years to come. (National Review)
That’s a man I would want to trust for economic counsel on my tax plan, as Trump has done in making him Taxonomist in Chief.
Unfortunately, Kudlow’s hindsight proved even worse than his foresight. Larry had a chance to finally get it right in the middle of 2008 when he denied, as did Ben Burn-the-banky, that the US was already in recession:
So far it’s a non-recession recession. Score one for President Bush. President George W. Bush may turn out to be the top economic forecaster in the country…. The president told reporters: “This economy is going to come on. I’m confident it will.
Yay, George. The Bush Boom proved to be a come-on, indeed. Way to call it, George. Way to call it, Larry. You guys are the best! You’re like meteorologists holding lightning rods in an electric storm while telling everyone in the flickering glow of your own burning head that the sun is shining and there is no trouble in sight!
Now, it is not as though no one had warned Larry we might be in a recession already:
We’re in the midst of the most widely predicted and heralded recession in history. Problem is, so far it’s a non-recession recession…
Ah well, turned out so far it was actually the mother of all recessions. Still ongoing, it may prove to be the worst recession’s recession in the history of recessions before we find our way out of this economic oblivion. Even with ample warning from all directions, Larry banged his head on that low-hanging pipe. Oops. But, as if he hadn’t already said enough to eventually prove himself as stupid as his tie is pink, Larry waffled on:
Interesting — isn’t it? — just how durable and resilient our low-tax, free-market, capitalist economy truly is.
Sure was interesting, Larry. I’m still laughing at that one. The rest of your article is equally filled with laughable optimism about the Bush economy in the summer of 2008.
Two months after Larry wrote that article, his old friend Bear Stearns was the first to fall. Since Larry knew a lot of people inside the Bear, he’s all the more without excuse for not seeing the Great Recession was about to eat the bear and everyone inside of it as its first snack.
That last statement more than any Larry has ever made speaks volumes about Larry’s understanding of low-tax plans. He can’t even see they’re failing even after the failure is six months ripe and moments before the biggest calamities in decades start to hit. Larry was a major proponent of the infamous Bush Tax Cuts who couldn’t see recession even when he admitted everyone everywhere was telling him that he was in the middle of one. How do you miss that when your specialty is economics?
To put it another way, standing in the middle of the swamps of Foggy Bottom, Larry can’t see water. Could it be that Larry is blinded by the fog of his own ideology and his own avarice and his own arrogance about his own opinions, or is he just stupid? (It’s a coin toss; you call it.) Apparently, if Trump is going to drain the swamp, he’ll have to take the water level down a long way before Larry’s dead head starts to appear in the mud at the bottom. The man needs air. Let’s hope Trump gives him some by airing him completely out of the Trump administration in a hurry … before he does as much damage as he’s repeatedly done in the past.
Larry Kudlow is still an idiot
Idiots never learn. So, with a little of Laughable Larry’s delightful history behind us, I want to move on to one of most moronic recent statements — this one from both Larry and his cohort in Trumped-up Taxes, Stephen Moore:
Here’s a historical fact that Donald Trump, and many voters attracted to him, may not know: The last American president who was a trade protectionist was Republican Herbert Hoover. Obviously that economic strategy didn’t turn out so well — either for the nation or the GOP. (Newsmax)
These same two, who said in August of 2015 that Trump would be the next Hoover if elected are now cleaning up by working as Trump’s two chief tax advisors and media shills. Back then, however, they asked,
Does Trump aspire to be a 21st century Hoover … that helped send the U.S. and world economy into a decade-long depression and a collapse of the banking system? We can’t help wondering whether the panic in world financial markets is in part a result of the Trump assault on free trade.
You can see from the quote above that Krazy Kudlow actually argued in the summer of 2015 that the global crisis from China’s crashing stock market was happening because of Donald Trump! Really??? Donald Trump was so all-powerful that fear over his mere words as a candidate who was not even the Republican nominee caused China’s stock market to collapse and all the stock markets of the world follow suit? Wow!
That’s where ideology gets you. Kudlow so hated Trump’s arguments against free trade that he couldn’t see China was collapsing because its stock market was an enormous bubble, governed by communists, in an economy that has always been rigged and riddled with corruption. When Kudlow cannot even see that the inevitable downfall of China is it corruption and communist foundation or that its stock market was a bubble begging to pop, you know Kudlow can’t see anything straight. That’s because he filters everything through his ideology which serves only his own self-interest.
Kudlow is a rich man whose only religion is to look out for the rich above all others. Wealth has so convoluted the twists and turns of his brain that he cannot even understand why something as huge as China falters.
The crash of the market in China, which recovered for now in spite of Trump continuing to regale China on trade and in spite of Trump now having the power to actually take a wrecking ball to free trade, proved Kudlow can’t understand an economic collapse when the pillar are falling all around him. (China’s problems are by no means past, as prices of houses in the Chinese housing bubble rose 32% last month alone! And that happened when almost everyone thought Hillary’s win of the presidency would be a slam-dunk landslide.)
Yet, this self-serving moron, who “misunderestimates” the biggest economic failures in the world, is now one of Trump’s chief tax advisors. His failure to understand a crash as obvious as China’s means he will never be able to understand the failure of his own tax plan when it happens, just as he touted the successful economic stimulus effect of Bush’s tax plan, when people everywhere could see the entire global economy was about to break up.
Larry Kudlow is actually interested in protectionism of the top 10%
While Larry decries trade protectionism, he’s nothing more than a protectionist of the establishment at every turn. Let’s take another look at how prescient Larry is to see if this protector of the rich can guide us into a better future. Kudlow & Kompany went on to say…