The overriding quality necessary for landing a position in Donald Trump’s administration is that Trump has to know you from TV. Most of his cabinet selections have logged plenty of time in cable-news green rooms. Monica Crowley and K.T. MacFarland, two named advisers, were paid contributors to Fox News. Secretary-of-state nominee Rex Tillerson is perhaps an exception, but he came highly recommended from TV faves Condi Rice and Dick Cheney.
So in that context, floating Larry Kudlow to run the Council of Economic Advisers is perfectly apt. Kudlow isn’t an economist, but he plays one on TV. And more important, he confidently (and usually wrongly) favors what has to be seen as the dominant economic gospel of the Trump administration: tax cuts.
Before we get into that, let’s just note how consistently wrong Kudlow has been over the years. He denied the existence of a housing bubble, even after it collapsed. He touted the “Bush boom” and boasted that there wouldn’t be any recession in December 2007—the month the recession began. Once the downturn was undeniable, Kudlow dismissed it, said it would be mild, predicted the bottom over and over as the economy continued to sink. He recommended buying stocks in September 2008, the month the market lost a substantial amount of its value. Baghdad Bob looks at this guy and thinks he might need to get his facts straight.
More than wrong, Kudlow can be absolutely psychopathic in his veneration of the market. He argued that banks that manipulated benchmark interest rates were actually the victims, rather than criminals. He commented on the Fukushima disaster in 2011: “The human toll here looks to be much worse than the economic toll, and we can be grateful for that.”