Thursday, January 24, 2019

What Do President Trump's Economic Advisers Really Think of Him?

Larry Kudlow
I have already pointed out at the post, Top Level Warning On Massive US Fiscal Deficit, that the new book, Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive the Economy by Trump outside economic advisers Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore with a foreword by Larry Kudlow (Laffer and Moore tell us that Kudlow was involved in about half of the writing of the book before he left to join the Trump administration), reveals that the supply-side trio are fans of deficit spending.

From the book when they are discussing their advice to Trump during the campaign and after he became president:
Our view about the impact of debt and deficits doesn't fit in the conservative or liberal basket. We are not opposed to debt per se. As Larry would say to Trump on several occasions, perhaps with little exaggeration: "This country was built on debt." But Trump, the self-described "king of debt,"  understood what he meant by that...
We assured Donald Trump that a business tax would help most dramatically to restore American economic growth. He asked how big of a tax cut we could afford. We told him to go as big as possible... To get the economy jump-started and to help middle-class workers. "Don't get stressed out by phony numbers of Washington's bean counters," Larry instructed. "They are always wrong. And the benefits of a higher economic growth far outweigh the cost of short-term deficits."  
Of course, they know this isn't true. Here they are, in the same book, attacking deficits during the Obama administration:
So every dollar the government borrows and spends is money taken out of the economy from the person who buys the bonds...So, at best. the net effect of borrowing on stimulating the economy is zero.
Bottom line: These are economic opportunists who will bend their story in favor of the politician they are serving. When their man is in power, deficits are wonderful, when the other team is in power, deficits don't work.

But the book reveals more about this group, specifically what they really seem to think about Trump. From the book:
Donald Trump is not as ideological conservative. Reagan was far more schooled in conservative thought and was more dedicated to the principles of limited government.
 Trump is not ideological like Reagan was - that was frustrating to us at times.
Trump didn't run as a Milton Friedman - Reagan free-marketeer. He is not a Libertarian - far from it. 
He reminded us a little bit of our late friend Jack Kemp, who took every criticism personally.

To say the least, Donald Trump is a work-in-progress on trade.

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