The judicial decision to uphold all of the president’s health-care subsidies may be very disappointing, but the economics of Obamacare are far worse than whatever constitutional mistakes have been committed by the Supreme Court.
Larry Kudlow | All Articles
“There is not a reason in the world why we cannot grow at a rate of 4 percent a year.” That’s what Jeb Bush said when he officially announced his presidential run in Miami last week. And right off the bat, most economists trashed the idea.
Just as the great William F. Buckley Jr. laid the intellectual foundation for the rise of modern conservatism, philanthropist R. Randolph Richardson set down the financial foundation of the new conservative movement. But Randy Richardson, who died May 25 at the age of 89, is not a household name. He was a low-key guy who stayed out of the limelight, and he made a habit of giving credit to others. But like Buckley, he was a firm believer in a free society, free markets, and a strong defense to defeat communism. And the mark he made on the conservative movement is deep and lasting.
The strong May jobs report -- including a 280,000 jump in nonfarm payrolls -- reminds me of the big debate over the harmful effects of a strong dollar and falling oil prices. But where’s the harm? King Dollar, along with the supply benefits of the oil-fracking revolution, may actually be propping up a subpar economy facing headwinds from heavy business taxes and overregulation.
First-quarter real GDP actually declined by 0.7 percent, according to revisions out this week, creating much new talk about recession. But there is no recession. Trouble is, there continues to be virtually no recovery.
Janet Yellen told us last week that the fed funds target rate will be raised slightly later this year. But after that, future rate hikes will be small and gradual over the next several years. In fact, we may never have true normalization (4 percent). In my view, Yellen is offering a back-to-the-’50s approach to interest rates. And she’s right, though for many wrong reasons.
One of the interesting nuggets coming out of the conservative sweep in the British elections was the failure of bank-bashing by the Labour party. Labour leader Miliband, who has since resigned, was anti-bank, anti-rich, and anti-business. It failed. And while conservative leader David Cameron didn’t necessarily defend banks, he didn’t attack them either.
If the GOP doesn’t put together a sensible immigration policy it will lose the 2016 presidential election.
Don’t expect any miracles from the economy. But don’t expect a collapse either.
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.
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.