With all the candidates dancing around the question of prosperity, there is one standing for office on a platform centered on the restoration of sound money, and The New York Sun is happy to endorse her. She is Daria Novak, who is running for Congress on the Republican line in the Second District of Connecticut. What a wonderful addition she would make to the camera that is responsible for the public fisc.
Ms. Novak’s campaign really began a long time ago, in, as the monetary maven Ralph Benko likes to quip, a galaxy far, far away — New Jersey. That’s where, in 1978, Jeffrey Bell, a young, unknown, underfunded candidate like Ms. Novak, unseated Senator Clifford Case in an astounding upset in the GOP primary. Mr. Bell’s victory took the supply-side formula of lowering marginal tax rates and restoring integrity to the dollar off the editorial pages and placed it firmly on the political map.
Mr. Bell was defeated that November by the brainy basketball superstar Bill Bradley. Once he was elevated to the Senate, though, a remarkable thing occurred. Messrs. Bell and Bradley became friends and collaborators. Thirty years ago this month Mr. Bradley had Mr. Bell in his office to celebrate, with champagne, the passage of the reduction of the top marginal income tax rate to, after reconciliation, 28%, down from 70% when Reagan declared. It passed the Senate by a vote of 97 to three. Talk about bipartisanship.
When Reagan declared for the presidency in 1979 the Dow Jones Industrial Average hovered barely over 800. It is, as of this writing, over 18,000. America, and then much of the world, adopted the Kemp-Bell-Reagan formula of cutting marginal tax rates and embraced a high integrity dollar. That created an epic epoch of world prosperity. World GDP then was, in 1979, around $11 trillion a year. As of this writing, it is more than $70 trillion a year.
Daria Novak’s campaign is, in some ways, more urgent than Mr. Bell’s, in that the Democrat against whom she is running is no Bill Bradley who will reach across the aisle and pluck the best ideas from the Republican platform. So if Connecticut is going to participate in the formation of a supply-side future of the kind that came into view in the 1980s, Ms. Novak is the one who will lead it.
There are, moreover, few politicians in any state who get the monetary dimension to the current crisis as clearly as Ms. Novak does. Not only does she focus on cuts in the marginal tax rate but she speaks about “constitutional money” linked to proper, constitutional specie. She vows that if she is elected she’ll make her first official act the introduction of Jack Kemp’s famous bill, the Gold Standard Act of 1984. She vows to crusade on that “as key to getting job creation, economic security, and upward mobility back at a sizzling rate.”
Ms. Novak has been endorsed by George Gilder, Lawrence Kudlow, Jimmy Kemp (Jack Kemp’s son), and Mr. Bell himself, along with Steve Forbes, who calls Ms. Novak “the prosperity heroine.” Mr. Benko calls Ms. Novak’s “the most important 2016 race you’ve never heard of,” which can be laid to the modesty of the funding she has brought to the hustings. And to the tragedy that the policy mix that created the sizzling job creation of the 1980s and 1990s was forgotten, often, alas, by both parties.
Glimmers of hope have sparkled at times in Donald Trump’s campaign. He has talked about the gold standard being the ideal. Moreover, as economist Judy Shelton has pointed out, by addressing the problems of the Federal Reserve and the manipulations of exchange rates by China and some of our other trading partners, Mr. Trump has opened the door to monetary reform. The leadership in Congress — Speaker Ryan and chairmen Kevin Brady of Ways and Means and Jeb Hensarling of Financial Services — are certainly primed. They are going to need all the help they can get, though, including from clear-headed freshmen like Daria Novak.