A number of GOP candidates are engaging in Hillary-bashing over allegations that she used her office as secretary of state to help her husband’s business dealings, prop up speech-making fees, and grease the path for foreign governments to donate massive amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation. But here’s a warning to my friends on the presidential campaign trail: Bashing Hillary is only going to make the Republican party look mean-spirited and snarky. It’s no road to the White House.
Larry Kudlow | All Articles
When John F. Kennedy was elected president he surprised both Democrats and Republicans with a bold tax-cutting plan to solve the problem of a moribund economy. He had campaigned on “getting the country moving again,” and had set a 5 percent economic-growth target, but he never specified how he was going to do it. Then he opened everyone’s eyes with a plan to lower marginal tax rates across-the-board.
If recent news accounts are to be believed, the framework of agreement between the U.S. and Iran is on the rocks. Iran’s top officials, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, are saying economic sanctions must end immediately and that UN inspectors will not be granted unfettered access to military installations and nuclear construction sites.
The economy has been in a tepid, soft, slow recovery for the past five-and-a-half years. It’s the weakest rebound in generations. The Commerce Department’s revision of fourth-quarter GDP shows that nothing much has changed. Over the past year, real economic growth registered 2.4 percent, slightly higher than the recovery average. It ain’t much.
Don’t just rely on Benjamin Netanyahu’s passionate advice to Congress on his way to reelection that Iran is our arch enemy. Now we have the counsel of retired general David Petraeus, who gave a remarkable interview this week to the Washington Post. Petraeus agrees with Netanhayhu: Iran, not ISIS, is the real enemy.
Despite the conventional criticisms of the financial commentariat, both theory and evidence argue for a strong, stable, and reliable currency as a crucial channel to prosperity. Just think of the reverse: If you could devalue your way into prosperity, Argentina would be the center of the world economy.
Hillary acknowledging that it would have been better to use two e-mail accounts is about as close to an apology from the Clintons you’ll ever get. But the matter of “convenience” is just nonsense, as everyone knows. Even a tech dinosaur like myself has two e-mail accounts, which I now access on my spiffy new iPhone 6 Plus. (By the way, instead of that old Blackberry, Hillary should have had an iPhone).
“More than any election since 1980,” ace pollster Kellyanne Conway tells me, “2016 will be a national-security contest.” And she says former governor Rick Perry may have the best chance to convince voters that he can be commander-in-chief.
Fed chair Janet Yellen testified this week on the state of the economy. The only interesting thing to come of it was some sharp-edged criticism by Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee. That includes committee chair Jeb Hensarling, who said, “Fed reforms are needed . . . Fed reforms are coming.”
Yes, believe it or not, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker actually spoke at some length at the dinner this past week where Rudy Giuliani charged that President Obama doesn’t love America. All the hullabaloo went to Giuliani, but in terms of the Republican presidential race, a number of Scott Walker’s pointed comments about policy and politicians are not to be missed.
Let me begin with Presidents’ Day. It’s a nice long weekend. But it says nothing about the greatness of certain American presidents. Whatever happened to Washington’s Birthday? Or Lincoln’s Birthday? Of course, I could go for Reagan’s Birthday. And I’ll bet my pal Amity Shlaes would pull for Coolidge’s Birthday.
Mitt Romney showed once again that he is truly a class act. In his announcement that he will not be running for president in 2016, he stated, “I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee.”
It’s too easy to label President Obama’s State of the Union as more tax-the-rich and redistribution. We know that. Rather than name-calling, Republicans must draw a clear line in the sand between their worldview and Obama’s. I’d call that line commonsense economics.
“Let’s be honest here. Islam has a problem.”
What can Senator Bob Corker be thinking? On his first Sunday-news-show appearance of the year, right at the beginning of a new Republican Senate era, does Corker communicate a new GOP message of growth and reform? Does he talk about business and personal tax reduction that might rejuvenate start-ups, higher wages, and job-creation? Does he talk about rolling back Obamacare or regulations in general? Does he discuss sensible immigration reform, including border security? Free-trade promotion that will help consumers and businesses? Education reform? The Keystone pipeline?
Politics and the economy are both looking up. President Obama’s big-government spending, planning, and executive-branch overreach were crushed at the polls. Elections matter. The GOP has been rejuvenated. Republican governors will lead the way. And the Republican majorities in the House and Senate haven’t been this big since the 1920s. They know what to do -- develop a positive agenda: Pro-growth tax reform and spending limits. Pro-energy. Pro-King Dollar and Fed monetary reform. Pro-health-care choice. Pro-immigration reform. Pro-marriage. Pro-family.
We all know that the American energy revolution, led by the new technologies of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, has created a flood of new shale-oil and natural-gas production that has overwhelmed world markets and driven prices down by roughly 40 percent. End-of-week crude oil closed near $57 a barrel, and the national average gasoline price finished at $2.60.
Seldom has so much good news been portrayed so negatively. Oil prices continue to fall in the U.S. and around the world, but near everyone in the media is grumpy about it. The headlines today are among the silliest I’ve seen: Energy-company stocks are declining, oil deflation is an economic threat, the Fed might raise rates much later than expected, OPEC is dissolving, shale companies are going bankrupt, Russia is going bankrupt(!), and on and on.
Is this immigration game really worth the candle? I think not. And I say this as someone who is an immigration reformer, not a restrictionist.