Hats Off to Larry Kudlow
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
One of the principles of writing editorials taught by the late editor of the Wall Street Journal, Robert Bartley, is repetition. It’s a way to build power in an editorial campaign, he would say. Just keep pressing the point. It was related to his famous aphorism: “It takes 75 editorials to pass a law.” It turns out that repetition is a way of including everyone in — even if they missed the previous edition.
We mention this by way of tipping our hat to our colleague Larry Kudlow. It appears that he has won his battle to stop President Biden’s reckless budget bill from clearing the Senate. The latest news is that the measure — Build Back Better, and all the trimmings — is unlikely now to pass the Senate this year, and it might have a difficult time next year. It’s hard not to conclude that Mr. Kudlow had a role.
The former aide to Presidents Reagan and Trump has been using his opening riff on his Fox Business News broadcast to keep the drama of this bill at the top of the news. It’s been our honor to edit his verbal transcript into a several-times-a-week column. Since August, that has added up to something like 50 columns on this head. Most repeat some of what came before and add some new angle.
We wouldn’t suggest that Mr. Kudlow was the sole — or even main — reason the measure stalled in the Senate. He himself credits Senators Manchin and Sinema. The principled positions taken by the two Democrats prevented the split Senate from getting to first base with what Mr. Kudlow liked to label with a string of adjectives — like the woke socialist Green New Deal inflationary Marxist monstrosity.
We gather, though, that Mr. Kudlow’s own role is being noted and acknowledged. Because Mr. Kudlow is a veteran of the New York Fed, Reagan’s budget office, and, of course, Mr. Trump’s National Economic Council, there wasn’t an angle to this story that he didn’t see early. He was particularly shrewd, and early, in marking the importance of the scoring of the bill — meaning, estimating its actual costs.
That’s probably the most devastating blow — though Mr. Kudlow’s strategic point was the illogic of pumping the vast money into what was fundamentally a growing economy launched by Mr. Trump’s tax cuts and campaign of deregulations. He was ahead of the curve in anticipating the scale of the inflation we’re now facing. And in summing it up as a battle to save America. Chapeau, maître.
Image of Mr. Kudlow courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.