National Economic Council Chairman Larry Kudlow could plausibly be described as a man “obsessed” with economics. After all, this is a guy who was a fixture on CNBC before he accepted a role in President Trump’s White House and helped design the 2017 tax cut.
If you put stock in the old maxim that it takes one to know one, then, consider this much: Kudlow says that Trump is so “obsessed” over economic growth that he’s been losing sleep over the matter.
That claim comes from Kudlow’s introduction to “Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Get Our Economy Back on Track,” a new book by Stephen Moore and Arthur B. Laffer, both prominent economic advisers to the president.
As the Washington Examiner notes, Kudlow’s foreword contains a vivid description of the president’s passion for economics.
“I can tell you after a few months on the job, this man is indefatigable. Donald Trump doesn’t stop,” Kudlow writes.
“He barely sleeps. It’s almost impossible to keep up with him. He is truly obsessed with restoring American greatness.”
While Kudlow wrote that the president’s style is unconventional, he posited it was just that which had allowed Trump to score major wins on trade and taxes, among other economic issues.
“And it has happened faster than anyone imagined possible,” Kudlow wrote.
As for the rest of the book, Moore and Laffer stress that it’s “not a celebration” of everything the president’s done, according to the Examiner.
Those who are familiar with both writers can probably guess what issues draw the most ire.
Moore, a veteran economics writer, was long associated with the libertarian Cato Institute.
Laffer, a prominent figure in the Reagan administration, is best remembered by political junkies (or fans of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”) as the creator of the Laffer curve, a model that illustrates higher taxes don’t necessarily equal more revenue for governments.
Neither were fans of the Trump administration’s trade policies. However, they argued that “Trumponomics” fit into a category that didn’t necessarily follow traditional political lines.
“So just what is Trumponomics all about? Does it have any cohesive theme, or is Trump just making this all up as he goes along? We wish we had a bitcoin for every time we’ve been asked that question,” they wrote.
“Trump didn’t run as a Milton Friedman-Reagan free marketeer. He is not a libertarian — far from it. He also didn’t run as a ‘kinder and gentler’ Bush neocon. Trump upended two decades of stale Republican dogma with a freshly minted populist agenda,” states the book, which is to be released Oct. 30.
How is that working?
As for trade, the shakeout from higher tariffs and barriers as a negotiating tactic will likely take some time to assess, but the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement seems to be an early victory.
All of that is good enough reason for the president to be “obsessed” with the economy — and whatever sleep may have been lost over it could very well be worth it come 2020.
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