National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow gave a wide-ranging interview to Stu Varney on Fox Business’ Varney & Co., touching on topics including unemployment, the next stimulus plan and the economic recovery.
When discussing the unemployment rate, Kudlow said the number of initial jobless claims are coming down, the continuing claims fell by over 600,000 and the country has created 9 million jobs in the last three months.
“We’ve created over 9 million jobs, we, the economy, the American people in the last 3 months and all the signals I think are for a strong “v-shaped” recovery.”
Later in the interview he acknowledged that there are still plenty of Americans who need jobs and want to go back to work.
“I also understand that still, way too many people are not working, that’s fair enough, but I will say this, your early returns for May, June and July have been really, kind of spectacular. So I’ve got my fingers crossed that we are in a self-sustaining recovery.” said Kudlow
When Varney mentioned that the recovery seemed weak, Kudlow said many leading indicators, like housing starts, are near records and that others are “soaring.”
“The pandemic, which was a bone crusher, and a heartbreaker, you’ve got a whole series of indicators that are booming. I mean they are just soaring. The housing sector, which is a leading indicator of the economy, housing permits up by 40%, they’re way above the February level before the pandemic. Homebuilder sentiment is the strongest it’s been in 22 years. You’ve got a boom in automobiles, both production and sales. And here’s a key point: investories collapsed in that second quarter, the contraction quarter, so you’ve got to rebuild inventories to satisfy consumer demand on cars and other things.”
Kudlow says the leaders in the White House are willing to do another stimulus bill, but it has to make sense and can’t be $3.5-4 trillion to spend “willy-nilly.”
“Secretary Mnuchin has said several times that a sensible package is good,” said Kudlow, “But to just throw another $4 trillion wily-nily on a Democratic wish list, most of which was rejected in the bipartisan package last March. Secretary Mnuchin has said if it’s sensible and if it works and if it’s targeted, yes, we would probably be favorable, but we don’t have the details yet, and right now the talks are rather stalled.”
Finally, when asked about Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s tax plan, Kudlow made it clear that not only is it a terrible idea, but despite what the Democrats are promising, the middle class will end up paying higher taxes.
“You’re coming out of a terrible pandemic contraction. Terrible. Tragedies almost everywhere and we’re still climbing out. Now would you, Stu Varney, suggested that we should be taking money from individual men and women who are working or want to go back to work? I mean that’s what a tax hike is. It’s taking money, it’s picking people’s pockets, and of course the old mantra from the Democrats is “well it’s rich people.” No it’s not. They’re going to go across the board. Corporations, individuals, you name it, they will tax it. They’ll never get the numbers they think from taxing successful earnings, it never happens, so it’s the middle class folks who will get the tax hike as they always do.”
Kudlow closed the interview with a plea for Americans to make the right choice in November. A Democrat in the White House means a lower standard of living for all of us.
“I don’t care what party you are in, you’re color, anything: do you want a future economy with prosperity and opportunity and health, or do you want to go back to a stagnant economy which will make everybody worse off and lower living standards?”