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.
Larry Kudlow | All Articles
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.
The greatest economic challenge of our time is how to restore economic growth. Over the past dozen years, average real growth has slowed to 1.8 percent annually, under both Republican and Democratic presidents and congresses. It’s a bipartisan problem.
We all know the Republican midterm landslide was largely a repudiation of President Obama’s policies and his handling of the job of chief executive. And of course, we don’t know who will succeed him in 2016. But buried deep inside Tuesday’s exit polls is a series of numbers on presidential contenders that will blow your mind. It’s completely different from most anything you’ve seen in the newspapers, the Internet, or on TV.
Election Day will produce a new Republican Congress, or so the latest polls tell us. If so, the huge losses for the Obama Democrats -- both in 2010 and this year -- will have come in large measure from the economic failures of a party that has moved radically left over the past 20 years.
The vast majority of political journalists -- and I include some of my conservative colleagues -- are missing a very big story.
Steep stock market corrections often create shrouds of pessimism that do bad things to people’s brainpower. And one of the absolutely stupidest things I have heard in recent weeks is that the recent drop in oil prices is bad. You heard me right. Serious people on financial television are saying lower oil prices are a signal of worldwide economic collapse. Here at home that translates to recession, deflation, a profits collapse, and rising unemployment.
So President Obama gives a major economics speech towards the end of last week, and the next week stocks get clobbered. It was the worst correction in many months. There’s probably no direct cause and effect here. But it’s worth noting that the president has been speaking out of all sides of his mouth during the market volatility.
A couple of weeks ago at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, several hundred people went to their feet to applaud a speech delivered by David H. Koch. The occasion was the opening of the Met’s new façade on Fifth Avenue. It runs four city blocks, and is complete with new fountains, paving, lighting, landscaping, and seating areas for visitors. Mr. Koch contributed the entire $65 million cost of the project, which took years to complete.
This column co-written with Stephen Moore, chief economist at the Heritage Foundation.
I know he’s made a million mistakes. And I have opposed nearly all his domestic and international policies. But after watching Obama’s intense ISIS speech Wednesday night, and reading the text several times, I think the president basically -- finally -- got it right.