There’s no knowing what Larry Kudlow ingested before appearing on Fox News’ Watters World show last night but whatever it was rendered him almost incomprehensible.
Here’s Kudlow responding to host Jesse Watters’ question about how the Trump administration will both tout its economic successes and, at the same time, acknowledge the problems working-class Americans still face.
KUDLOW: We've always heard the concerns of working-class Americans. Actually, the president’s whole campaign in 2016 was about lowering tax burdens for middle-class Americans and small businesses, getting rid of needless and costly regulations that have damaged small businesses, who are the biggest job hirees [sic] in the country; creating millions of jobs with our energy packages that has made us independent; and maybe most of all, to renegotiate bad trade deals which permitted unfair trading practices and which damaged middle-class jobs in manufacturing and farming and elsewhere. I mean, look, this riff that I'm hearing from the other side of the aisle is a great example, Jesse, of cognitive dissonance, alright?. Now, I know you’re not really in the economic game. You know what I mean when I say cognitive dissonance, you know what that is? OK, buddy. Now I'm just saying that because as you know in Washington, no one lies, so it’s just a bit of cognitive dissonance.
Kudlow went on to cite statistics supposedly showing that wages for lower and middle-income earners are rising faster than managers and the top 1%. But then he suggested that since the middle class paychecks have gotten bigger, they’re doing great, period..
KUDLOW: This old saw that I'm hearing, that the middle class lives paycheck to paycheck – well, I don't know exactly what that means. I mean, I believe certain presidential candidates live paycheck to paycheck. That's beside the point if the paycheck is fatter.
KUDLOW: The paychecks are getting fatter. Here’s the stat. This is not our stat. You know, this comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau. We don’t control those agencies, alright? They’re the ones that [are] telling us, after tax, after inflation, the average family in the United States got $66,000 a year, has increased their take-home pay, to use Ronald Reagan's phrase, by $5000 in three years.
Of course, it’s ridiculous for Kudlow to say that the White House doesn’t control either the Bureau of Labor Statistic or the Census Bureau. What he probably meant was that the White House had nothing to do with those agencies’ work product. Regardless, it was clear that Kudlow was, as they say, three sheets to the wind on national television, on his boss’ favorite network.
Whether Fan in Chief Donald Trump noticed or cares remains to be seen. It may be that Kudlow’s praise is all that matters to Dear Leader. As Heather, at Crooks and Liars put it, Kudlow being “completely sloshed and making no sense at all” made him a “perfect representative of the Trump administration.”
You can watch Kudlow make a fool of himself below, from the February 15, 2020 Watters World, via Crooks and Liars.
And yes, the MAGA crowd will be shocked when they do their returns this spring, but they’ll just blame Obama.
So is tRump 😂😂😂
First, Middle Class employees DID NOT GET A TAX CUT. THEY GOT A MASSIVE TAX INCREASE. PERIOD. Middle Class employees saw their brackets increased and their deductions erased – thus pinning them into higher brackets and therefore into significantly higher tax burdens.
Secondly, the increase in take-home pay was a cynical trick of goosed-down withholding – an attempt to fool people into thinking they’d received the non-existent cut during the midterm election year of 2018. This did see Middle Class employees getting more in their weekly checks, but it resulted later in them owing even MORE the following April come Tax Time. The Pence Treasury Dept tried the sop that this was just to give everyone their refunds early, but that didn’t explain why millions went from getting a 4K refund to a 5K BILL.
Thirdly, Kudlow’s estimation of a 5K increase over 3 years in take-home for a 66K annual earner is mostly due to that goosed-down withholding, with the remainder coming from a nearly imperceptible drop. Lower Middle Class and Working Class employees saw very little benefit from minutely reduced rates – with most getting something like an additional 10-20 bucks per week IF that.
There’s a reason that tens of millions of Americans were outraged a year ago at Tax Time. And they’re about to get a painful reminder in less than 2 months – only now we’re in a major election year. It is my hope that they’ll remember this pain come November.
FactCheck does a pretty good job of non-partisan wage analysis: https://www.factcheck.org/2019/06/are-wages-rising-or-flat/. Trump doesn’t come out stinking nor does he come out smelling like a rose.
Me? Personally I think we’re looking at a combination of Trump juicing the economy with records levels of debt at a time when we’re hitting a point in the recovery from the Great Recession where wage growth has picked up a little bit because we’re at frictional unemployment. Note, much of the bottom 10% wage growth is probably created by regulation; specifically many states raising minimum wages. Though there’s a lot of growth at the bottom as companies like Target, Walmart, fast food joints, etc. push low-end service jobs to ~$11/hour.