Kudlow: Fed missing opportunity to show strength and determination
‘Kudlow’ host discusses the Democrat Party’s economic policies and why Elon Musk deserves to be Times ‘Person of the Year’.
Save America. Kill the bill.
And can we please get a Federal Reserve with a backbone? Here's a couple thoughts on today's wussy Fed announcement that they're going to move faster on tapering bond purchases and there might be three little bitty rate hikes next year.
And oh yeah, Jay Powell told the press conference he was confident inflation would drop to 2% by the end of next year. Wanna bet? On that bet, I'm taking the under.
Know who the best inflation forecaster in the country is? Senator Joe Manchin. Numero uno. I don't even know if he talks to economists, but since last winter when the $2 trillion Democrat so-called relief package was implemented, Joe Manchin has been warning about inflation.
And that's why he has argued consistently all year that Biden's big government socialist bill should be paused until inflation is clearly falling, which it is not. CPI up 7%, PPI up 10%. And today we got another whopper, with an 11.7% rise in import prices. How about that?
Manchin by the way, in his original memo to Chuck Schumer last summer, called for the end of QE – quantitative easing.
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Joe Manchin makes me feel proud to be a former Democrat, as were both of my presidential bosses, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.
If today's Democratic Party were full of Joe Manchins we'd probably all still be Democrats. The guy's a superstar. He's also a better forecaster than several million economists, not to speak of the White House and the Fed, who bungled the inflation story.
Manchin's also right in his policy ideas: Pause the bill and stop QE.
But the Jay Powell Fed has been nosing in favor of more spending. And today he had a chance to end QE flat in its tracks. But he didn't do it.
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So to quote our friend Kevin Warsh, former Federal Reserve governor: "The Fed is still enabling massive government spending by buying up the debt and pumping up the money supply."
The Fed today should not only have ended QE, but they should have announced their intention to start raising their target rate next month – January. They missed a big opportunity to show strength and determination.
Democrat Larry Summers is right. Today's central bankers are more interested in climate change and woke social policies than fighting inflation.
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And as John Maynard Keynes said decades ago, "inflation is the cruelest tax of all." It is middle-income and lower-income folks who get hurt the most with skyrocketing prices for food, energy, homes, construction, gasoline, meat, turkeys, you name it.
The Fed is so far behind the 8-ball now that, as former CEA chair Kevin Hassett told us yesterday, not only should they be raising rates immediately with a 50 basis point hike, they should take actions in between meetings to keep raising rates. And then, in a year or 18 months, inflation may start coming down.
Finally, I have another idea for a new Fed chairman if Joe Manchin won't take the job.
ELON MUSK NAMED TIME’S ‘PERSON OF THE YEAR’ FOR 2021
How about Elon Musk, Time Magazine's Man of the Year?
How can I say such an outrageous thing? Several reasons. I worked with him several times in the White House, and he's very smart and savvy.
Second, the mere fact that socialist Elizabeth Warren is attacking him for not paying his "fair share" of taxes is by itself a fabulous endorsement of Musk's philosophy, business prowess.
Am I saying anybody Warren opposes gets my stamp of approval? Yes. I'm tired of her left-wing progressive woke whining and her desires to tax and regulate anything that moves in business and the economy.
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Meanwhile, Musk, who's the biggest EV car seller in the country, has said publicly he does not want EV auto or battery subsidies from the federal government. Indeed, he has come out against the entire reckless tax, spend, and regulate Biden policies. Unlike GM and the unionist carmakers, Musk is non-union and will not put his nose into the public trough.
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My kind of guy. I doubt if he ever talks to economists. That's probably why he's such a good conservative, libertarian thinker. And incidentally, Musk has been selling about $3 billion worth of stock at the prevailing capitalist gains tax rate of 23.8%.
The Musk stock sale would generate $714 million of revenues to the federal government.
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It's gotta be one of the biggest revenue windfalls in Uncle Sam's history at least from one person. That's called paying your "fair share," Liz Warren.
My only trouble with it is I surely don't want to give you, Ms. Warren, another $714 million to spend on anything. Save America. Kill the bill.
This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow's opening commentary on the December 15, 2021 edition of "Kudlow."
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