The Two Stooges of Finance: Larry and Moore

The Two Stooges of Finance: Larry and Moore by David Haggith for The Great Recession

Laughable Larry Kudlow, as high priest of the Laffer Curve, has long been servant of “King Dollar,” as Larry has often reverently referred to US currency. The Laffer Curve is the central creed of trickle-down economics. It’s a bell-curve that demonstrates how lowering tax rates actually increases tax revenue to a certain point by stimulating the economy and then, beyond that point, lowering taxes lowers tax revenue. (If the latter were not true, the highest tax revenue would come in at a tax rate of zero, which is ludicrous. So, logically, you know at some point tax-rate reductions start to result in diminishing returns for revenue.)

Where there is room for disagreement is in determining where the high point for the revenue curve lies on that continuum between a 100% income tax and 0%. Larry places it a lot closer to a 0% tax rate than I would or than Larry’s former boss, David Stockman (head of Reagan’s budgeting office) places it. That’s because Larry lusts over tax rates that fill his own pockets, not rates that optimize the balance between government revenue and economic stimulus. (Just part of the voodoo in Voodoo Economics.)

Larry and his sidekick Stephen Moore are now on a journey to cajole the Fed into doing everything Larry has ever said the Fed should not do — dethrone King Dollar. Laffable Larry’s change of heart has come about because it is now unavoidable fact that the tax plan he concocted with Stephen Moore, based on Larry’s beliefs about the Laffer Curve, is not only failing to pay for its own tax breaks as Larry & Moore assured the world it would, but also not doing a whole heck of a lot to stimulate the economy any more.

Larry & Mo’s tax plan boosted the stock market … for awhile … but GDP got only one boost in the second quarter of last year and has been falling ever since.

This quarter, GDP growth is expected to come in well below where it was when Larry & Mo’s plan became law (diving to somewhere around 1%). And that is why Team Trump — the Trickle-down Trio of Larry, Mo, and Surly (the orange one) — is working the Fed to get some monetary salvation for their damned tax plan.

(I’m using the word literally because it is a tax plan from hell that is breaking the government financially, failing to stimulate the economy anywhere near as much as promised, and that ought to be damned because it is making the 1% wealthier at a faster clip than they have ever known while Larry is running at an even faster fast clip to the Federal Reserve for financial salvation in the form of more nearly free money.)

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David Haggith

Knave Dave — vigilante against the false profits of The Great Recession Too many criminal CEOs still fill their porky bellies with the biggest taxpayer bailouts in the history of the world. These bailouts protect their reputations, saving them from the fall they should have taken. They continue to receive bonuses for having done an unparalleled job of destroying their companies! Many of their companies wouldn’t be making any profit at all if not for the interest they’re making off of nearly free government bailouts. Just this week Hewlett-Packard fired its CEO, but is still paying him a bonus of millions of dollars in exchange for a year of corporate wandering in the wilderness. Netflix’s CEO cost his company hundreds of thousands of subscribers and had to reverse his decision. Bank of America’s CEO launched a debit-card fee plan that was immediately stupid in the eyes of many, but greed an arrogance led him to think he could pass it by his customers, and he lost customers in droves and had to reverse his decision, as did the many major banks that followed him. Since these corporate leaders do things most of us can immediately see as being dumb, why are they rewarded with salaries a thousand times greater than many of us make?