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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 11:28 PM
Updated: Mar 15, 2018 11:28 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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 115407

Reported Deaths: 3566
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21196765
Lake10493323
Elkhart6528110
St. Joseph6392106
Allen6178202
Hamilton4848109
Vanderburgh360930
Hendricks2715123
Monroe256036
Tippecanoe239113
Johnson2305123
Clark221457
Porter213647
Delaware194262
Cass19419
Vigo182526
Madison164375
LaPorte142340
Floyd135862
Howard130563
Warrick128038
Kosciusko121617
Bartholomew116457
Marshall100824
Dubois96919
Boone96846
Hancock92143
Grant91934
Noble90832
Henry79826
Wayne75414
Jackson7499
Morgan71638
Shelby67229
Daviess66328
Dearborn66028
LaGrange63411
Clinton59914
Harrison57624
Putnam56412
Knox5159
Gibson5114
Lawrence51129
Montgomery50821
White48514
DeKalb47611
Decatur45839
Miami4353
Greene42435
Fayette42113
Jasper3942
Steuben3807
Scott37311
Sullivan33712
Posey3240
Jennings31312
Franklin30725
Clay3005
Ripley2968
Orange28824
Carroll27413
Whitley2707
Washington2651
Wabash2648
Starke2637
Adams2613
Wells2614
Jefferson2483
Spencer2413
Fulton2382
Huntington2363
Tipton22622
Perry22113
Randolph2167
Jay1800
Newton17311
Owen1681
Martin1640
Rush1554
Pike1471
Vermillion1280
Fountain1232
Blackford1193
Pulaski1131
Crawford1050
Brown1043
Parke962
Benton880
Ohio787
Union780
Switzerland690
Warren391
Unassigned0226

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 148894

Reported Deaths: 4734
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin26704607
Cuyahoga17375656
Hamilton13036315
Montgomery7755162
Lucas7280364
Butler5933111
Summit5265252
Marion308847
Mahoning3053281
Warren302349
Stark2838175
Pickaway264344
Lorain230786
Delaware223120
Fairfield208753
Columbiana192980
Licking191063
Trumbull1883132
Wood184172
Clark179440
Clermont170723
Lake161951
Medina146039
Greene144432
Allen143069
Miami142851
Portage113266
Mercer111918
Erie93546
Tuscarawas93020
Wayne92767
Ross87924
Richland86119
Madison81512
Darke79942
Belmont71827
Geauga71349
Hancock69510
Athens6692
Ashtabula65748
Lawrence65322
Shelby62510
Auglaize5979
Putnam58523
Sandusky56320
Huron5427
Union5292
Scioto4986
Seneca47014
Ottawa46830
Preble43315
Muskingum4012
Holmes3859
Jefferson3364
Henry31213
Logan3093
Champaign3043
Perry2969
Clinton29413
Defiance28911
Brown2882
Knox28415
Washington26023
Morrow2572
Hardin25213
Jackson2506
Fulton2411
Ashland2374
Crawford2366
Coshocton23411
Fayette2306
Highland2273
Wyandot21012
Williams2073
Gallia18913
Pike1840
Meigs17410
Guernsey1698
Hocking1639
Carroll1527
Adams1294
Van Wert1173
Monroe11018
Paulding1080
Harrison633
Morgan470
Vinton473
Noble280
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