Larry Kudlow Is Having a Blast
(Bloomberg Businessweek) -- What do the results of the midterm elections mean for the president’s economic agenda?
I think because of the split, and the unexpected victories in the Senate, we’re going to be fine. The tax cuts and reforms, the deregulations, the opening up of energy, trade reform—the whole litany of our programs that have generated an unexpected economic boom—I think that’s all going to be fine. Any mischief from the House will be overturned in the Senate.
Will we finally see infrastructure spending?
It could be one of the key areas that Republicans and Democrats agree on. Now, there’ll be some disagreements about specific issues—priorities, funding. You’ll have a transportation bill or a highway bill. We’re due for a new one—the last one was in 2015. Another priority of the administration is to continue to develop the energy sector. The Permian Basin is going to put out 6 or 7 million barrels a day on its own. So we need pipelines.
When a CEO has a concern, who in this administration do they call?
They can call me! A lot of them do. They can call the president. They can call any of us. I meet with the fancy-pants CEOs. I like them—I want them to prosper. I also meet with small-business owners.
What’s the concern you’re hearing from the executives you’re talking to right now?
What I hear from small and large businesses is, “Is there enough labor to fill the necessary jobs?” You’ve got something like 7 million job openings. There’s some 6 million-odd unemployed. That’s extremely unusual with a 3.7 percent unemployment rate. So No. 1, we gotta bring them back into the labor force, and that’s happening as wages go up.
You’re a free trader. How do you feel about the U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports?
China has got to stop its unfair and often illegal trading practices. And President Trump is the first guy to really go after this in decades. Decades!
What does a China win look like?
China has to show us change. These are very serious issues, and they damage our economy, our workforce. Trade will be on the agenda at the G-20 meeting in Argentina at the end of November. When I was a Reagan Cub Scout, Nancy Reagan used to say, “Just say no to drugs.” My advice to China is just say yes to something. Something! They don’t. They don’t even respond to our asks.
You’ve been in the White House awhile, you’ve known the president a long time. Anything that surprised you?
This job is the most fun I’ve ever had. The National Economic Council has all these smart people. We’re involved in issues across the board. The president is accessible—I see him constantly. He knows that I’m not bashful about disagreeing.
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