Sunday, June 3, 2018

"If Trump’s Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow Had a Gram of Self-Respect He’d Resign."

Larry Kudlow, no self-respect?
New York Times columnist  Bret Stephens nails it:
The spirit that really hovers over this White House is Herbert Hoover’s. 
But that’s unfair to Hoover, whose soul can now rest easy that he is no longer the worst Republican president ever. In the grip of the Great Depression, the 31st president was under intense political pressure to sign the Tariff Act of 1930, better known as Smoot-Hawley after its Republican authors in Congress. Hoover himself was a somewhat reluctant protectionist. And while 1,028 economists signed a petition imploring the president not to sign, he could not then know that “Smoot-Hawley” would become a byword for economic folly. Between 1930 and 1933, the value of global trade declined from $4.9 billion to $1.8 billion.

Trump has no such excuses. The economy is humming. The overwhelming majority of Americans want more trade deals, not fewer, and are leery of a trade war. Congressional Republicans are broadly pro-trade and aren’t trying to push the administration into a political corner. And the opposition to tariffs among professional economists is about as universal now as it was then...

Conservative apologists for Trump have long told us not to worry about his most extreme positions, because his sober-minded advisers would surely bring him to reason. Sure...

The darker echoes of the 1930s are sounding louder. The shadow of Hoover grows longer. We know how this movie ends. If Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow had a gram of self-respect he’d resign.


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