Just as baseball season approaches, President Donald Trump hits it out of the park with his appointment of economist Larry Kudlow to head the White House’s National Economic Council.
Kudlow has a deep knowledge and understanding of businesses on Main Street and Wall Street, qualities the president needs in his top economic adviser.
During President Ronald Reagan’s first term, Kudlow was associate director for economics and planning at the Office of Management and Budget. After that, he started his own successful economic research firm, Kudlow & Co.
For the past two decades, Kudlow has also been a fixture on business TV, hosting or co-hosting his own programs on CNBC and as a frequent guest. He proved he could direct lively yet civil discussions with business people and politicians of various viewpoints.
Over the decades, Kudlow’s focus has been on building American prosperity by calling out government policies that harm American entrepreneurs, investors and consumers.
Though he is most known for his advocacy of tax cuts – and many of his ideas were incorporated in the recently enacted tax reform law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – Kudlow has also stressed the importance of minimizing regulatory and trade barriers.
He was an early critic, for instance, of the Sarbanes-Oxley accounting mandates signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2002.
He rightly pointed out that by substantially raising auditing costs, the law was making it much more difficult for entrepreneurs to take small companies public, which in turn deprived middle-class investors the opportunity to grow wealth with these firms.
Kudlow has also criticized regulations that burden American energy exploration. He praised Trump’s 2017 decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, arguing that this action effectively ended “the war on fossil fuels.”
And when it is necessary, Kudlow has shown that he can get down in the weeds of policy minutiae and highlight the technical-sounding yet destructive rules that need to be pruned.
In 2010, Kudlow had me on his CNBC program “The Kudlow Report” to discuss how Obamacare’s stealth “medicine cabinet tax” restricts consumers from purchasing over-the-counter drugs through health savings accounts and, in the process, limits choices and raises health care costs.
Finally, the Kudlow choice is a home run because Kudlow has not been afraid to point out his areas of disagreement with Trump. He has warned Trump publicly that trade protectionism could turn Trump into a “21st century Herbert Hoover.” Hopefully, Trump and members of Congress will heed Kudlow’s knowledge and wisdom on trade, taxes and regulation.