Larry Kudlow’s False Challenge to Hillary Clinton

Larry Kudlow is a man whom I generally respect. He has a good handle on matters of business and economics and therefore deserves attention. But sometimes even the best of us goof up. That was the case in Kudlow’s recent column in which he challenged Hillary Clinton to, as he put it, “Return to a JFK Growth Agenda.”

His analysis of the JFK tax cuts combined with a sound dollar is spot on. But immediately after that analysis is where the entire piece goes completely off the rails. Don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t’ turn into a piece of useless trash. Instead, it ignores the most important salient fact, or perhaps we might say, the very large blue whale in the living room. Challenging any Democrat candidate today to promote a pro-growth agenda is the height of futility because none of them have any interest in it. You might as well have asked Barack Obama to do the same, particularly because of his oft-repeated statements of sympathy for the middle and lower economic classes. But his action have spoken louder, as his policies are directed at thwarting growth, except for his favored few.

Mr. Kudlow’s references to the pro-growth policies of the Bill Clinton years are accurate, but misplaced. Mr. Clinton had little choice because the Newt Gingrich led congress would not have permitted otherwise. And Mr. Clinton was never entirely opposed to a growth agenda, as his politics was not modern hard-core anti-American Democrat. This is the primary difference between the two Clintons. Mr. wanted power, largely for its perks, and did not mind doing what others wanted him to do as long as his position was secure. His wife, on the other hand apparently adopted the full scale Alinskyite agenda while in college and has never let go of it, even when she was acting as First Lady. Far be it from her to do so now.

As Kudlow writes at the conclusion of his column:

It’s early in the campaign, and Hillary’s already talking about taxing the rich, punishing CEOs, redistributing income, regulating more spending more. Her buzz terms are women’s pay, parental leave, care-giving leave paid sick days. As AEI columnist Jim Pethokoukis writes, liberalism is not exhausted.

Thus you see that Hillary is still whipping the horse of the traditional redistributionist, interventionist and we may as well say welfare-statist agenda. This is precisely what virtually the entire Party is doing whenever an opportunity presents itself. To paraphrase President Reagan, when he said that the Democrat Party left him. It has also left Bill Clinton and the rest of main street America behind. Today’s Democrat Party is no longer an organization interested in what is good for America, as John Kennedy was. Instead it has become the party of authoritarianism. Mr. Kudlow may as well ask Hitler to give up his anti-Semitic genocidal policies or for Mao to stop the forced collectivization of Chinese agriculture. Neither would have done it under any circumstances, nor would any of the other authoritarian dictators of history obliged him either.

What confronts Mr. Kudlow and those like him, who are not yet willing to admit the truth of this, is that the Democrats and certain members of the Republican Party are more concerned with personal power than with good government. The result is an easily anticipated bad government, assuming that we understand the good variety as interested in the well being of the nation and the preservation of the rule of law. What very few people have been willing to admit is that some of the supposed leaders in today’s political landscape have no interest in such things because it interferes with their desire for power and the ability to control others. Instead of the divine right of kings, it is now the divine right of Ivy League graduates and others similarly situated.

They know that their proposals will not have any sort of a positive impact on the nation or its people. But because they have no interest in such positive outcomes they go on selling their snake oil to the significant portion of the public who does not understand or does not wish to understand that buying in to it is to their personal detriment. Instead they would rather keep up with their favorite “reality show’ than pay attention to how political reality is about to bite them.

Mr. Kudlow’s critique of the newly born official Clinton campaign is well taken. But it would be better if he went all the way and called the proverbial spade, a spade. And that goes for a goodly number of other commentators too. It shouldn’t be necessary for me, and others like me to do their work.

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