What Larry Kudlow thinks about trade, taxes, stocks and recessions

Wall Street will probably like President Trump's pick of Larry Kudlow as the next head of the National Economic Counc...

Posted: Mar 15, 2018 10:28 PM
Updated: Mar 15, 2018 10:28 PM

Wall Street will probably like President Trump's pick of Larry Kudlow as the next head of the National Economic Council.

But the choice might also be at odds with Trump's increasingly protectionist stance on trade.

Two sources familiar with the decision told CNN on Wednesday that Trump would name Kudlow, a conservative CNBC commentator, to replace Gary Cohn, who resigned last week after a disagreement with Trump over tariffs.

Kudlow was a former Reagan administration economist, who became the chief economist for now-defunct Wall Street investment bank Bear Stearns. He is staunchly pro-free trade.

In fact, Kudlow co-wrote an editorial for CNBC and the National Review earlier this month with prominent economists Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore, a CNN contributor, urging Trump to consider that tariffs will wind up as taxes on American consumers.

They added that the tariffs could also lead to massive job losses.

Kudlow says tariffs put 5 million US jobs 'at risk'

Kudlow, Laffer and Moore wrote that "we are imposing sanctions on our own country, putting up tariffs supposedly to make Americans more prosperous. If ever there were a crisis of logic, this is it."

They also said that the tariffs "put at risk 5 million jobs in industries that use steel" and that "steel-and-aluminum users and consumers lose."

To be sure, Kudlow has defended Trump on other economic policy issues, particularly the recent tax cuts.

Kudlow is a fan of tax cuts, but...

Kudlow wrote last December for CNBC that "Trump and the GOP are on the side of the growth angels with the passage of powerful tax-cut legislation to boost business investment, wages, and take-home family pay. The Democrats, meanwhile, are left with stale class-warfare slogans about tax cuts for the rich."

Related: Larry Kudlow and the Trump-TV feedback loop

And in an appearance on CNBC earlier this month, Kudlow said that Trump was "so good on taxes, he's so good on tax cuts, he's so good on deregulation, infrastructure -- I even like him on immigration."

But Kudlow ended his comments with this zinger about Trump. "He's never been good on trade."

...Kudlow worries Trump is watching stock market too much

Kudlow also recently warned Trump to stop obsessing about the stock market so much. He even noted that when he was in the Reagan administration, Reagan focused more on the broader economy -- even after the infamous Black Monday Wall Street plunge of October 1987.

"During the 1987 crash, Reagan went out there and said that the economy is fundamentally sound. And he was right, and the market rebounded," Kudlow said on CNBC after stocks plunged in February following the January jobs report.

"If I were the Trump team, I would talk about that in fact, the economy is improving. And that's all there is to it," he added. (Has Trump been listening? It's worth noting that the president has avoided talking about the market on Twitter for the past few weeks.)

'Recessions are therapeutic?' -- Not something Kudlow should say in DC

Kudlow has also said things in some opinion pieces for CNBC about the economy that he probably won't be able to utter in public if he takes a job in the Trump White House.

He wrote in April 2000 as the economy was in the midst of the Great Recession that "recessions are part of capitalism. They happen every so often."

Kudlow added that "recessions are therapeutic. They're even necessary to create the foundations for the next recovery. Economic excesses always occur in free-market capitalist economies, and from time to time they must be cleansed."

He's not wrong about that. But that plainspoken type of talk is fine when you are a commentator for a TV network. It doesn't usually work so well in Washington though.

- CNN's Kevin Liptak and Dan Merica contributed to this report.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 539829

Reported Deaths: 11038
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson798271529
Mobile41261809
Madison35132506
Tuscaloosa25915455
Shelby25294249
Montgomery24705593
Baldwin21392310
Lee15987172
Calhoun14569319
Morgan14422280
Etowah13918353
Marshall12275225
Houston10641282
Elmore10147206
Limestone10065151
St. Clair9946245
Cullman9761194
Lauderdale9457243
DeKalb8865188
Talladega8339176
Walker7260278
Autauga7001108
Jackson6836112
Blount6771139
Colbert6320135
Coffee5578118
Dale4876113
Russell445138
Chilton4369113
Franklin426282
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4044153
Escambia394777
Chambers3590123
Dallas3568153
Clarke351461
Marion3137101
Pike311977
Lawrence302698
Winston275773
Bibb264564
Geneva254078
Marengo249665
Pickens234862
Barbour232056
Hale223978
Butler219069
Fayette212662
Henry189643
Cherokee184645
Randolph182442
Monroe178141
Washington167739
Macon161150
Clay157157
Crenshaw153557
Cleburne149641
Lamar143236
Lowndes140553
Wilcox127430
Bullock123242
Conecuh110829
Coosa109228
Perry107826
Sumter104932
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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