Skip to comments.Run, Larry, Run (A Kudlow challenge to Chuck Schumer would expose his ruinous economics)
Posted on 02/02/2010 6:54:45 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Just when the gloom in the Empire State seemed thicker than ever, a ray of light pierced the darkness. The New York Post reported on Friday that economist and CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow was said to be contemplating a challenge to Sen. Chuck Schumer in response to a Draft Kudlow movement.
Could the revolt taking place in other states spread to the epicenter of the tax-and-spend ideal? Voters in New Jersey (who just installed Chris Christie in the governors mansion) and Massachusetts (who just sent Scott Brown to the senate) have rejected their states machines. That couldnt happen in New York, right?
Its true that the old guard in the Empire State appears to have as imperially tight a grip on power as ever. Unless a credible opposition emerges, New Yorks two Senate seats and its governors chair all up for grabs this year will almost certainly go to candidates backed by the entrenched political establishment. Andrew Cuomo will take the governors mansion; Schumer and his protégé Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed by Gov. David Paterson to fill the seat Hillary Clinton vacated, will return to the Senate.
Cuomo, Gillibrand, and Schumer: Its a lineup that promises about as much fresh thinking as a Politburo meeting in the Brezhnev era. The Cuomos have been a fixture of New Yorks political establishment since the Seventies. Gillibrand cut her political teeth under Andrew Cuomo in the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton years; she and Schumer are now senatorial soulmates. Schumer himself has been in Congress for nearly three decades.
Will Kudlow challenge him? The only thing Ive said and Ill continue to say, he told The Daily Caller, is that Im honored to be considered. But defeating Senator Schumer, he added, would be a noble cause.
It would be perfectly understandable if Kudlow declined to put himself and his family through the hell of a campaign. But if he did throw his hat in the ring, his candidacy would be an important one.
Washington is engaged in two big policy debates: whether to expand the social state through nationalized health care, cap-and-trade legislation, and massive increases in government spending; and how to fix the governments too-big-to-fail banking policy without wrecking the nations capital markets.
At this critical juncture, Candidate Kudlow could make a vital contribution to the debate. Thats because the combination of gifts he possesses is so rare. Kudlow is at once an economic expert and an expert communicator. As an economist, he was present at the creation of Ronald Reagans tax cuts in the Eighties, when he served as associate director of economics and planning in Reagans OMB. As a communicator, he reaches a vast audience through CNBCs The Kudlow Report and WABC radios The Larry Kudlow Show. He can tell you the top marginal income tax rate when President Kennedy proposed his own epochal tax cuts in 1962 (91 percent). Whats more, he can make you understand the significance of those cuts in a way few other economists can.
Hillary Clinton made a listening tour of New York during her quest for a New York Senate seat a decade ago. Kudlows campaign would more closely resemble a teaching tour. His classroom would have no shortage of exhibits. If you want to see whats wrong with President Obamas plans to expand the social state, take a look at New York. One out of every eight New York workers, observes E. J. McMahon, director of the Manhattan Institutes Empire Center for New York State Policy, is a unionized government employee; the ratio averages one out of 19 in the rest of the country. The lavish pay and benefits these public-sector workers receive stifle the productive element of the states economy and hurt ordinary New Yorkers, who fund the luxurious mandarins out of their own, generally smaller, paychecks. In 51 out of New Yorks 62 counties, McMahon notes, the average salary for state and local government jobs is higher than the private-sector average.
New Yorks fiscal nightmare is Americas fiscal future or will be if Senator Schumer has his way. He has his own creation story: He was there when Nebraskas Cornhusker Kickback was hammered out in Senate health-care negotiations. Ive been in Harry Reids office for 13 hours, and Im glad to get out of there, Schumer said of that profile in senatorial courage. But Im particularly glad with what has happened in that office.
The crucial challenge for a Kudlow campaign would be to find images that make vivid the broken promises of the social state Senator Schumer is trying to expand. Candidate Reagan did that when, in August 1980, he went to the corner of Charlotte Street and Boston Post Road in the South Bronx to make the case that the New York model wasnt working. Candidate Kudlow could make use of similarly dramatic tableaux in New Yorks upstate cities, among the most stagnant in the nation, where much of the recent population growth comes from trucking in prisoners and where most of the new jobs are on the government payroll.
Schumer won reelection in 2004 with 70 percent of the vote, and his campaign chest is full. But there are indications that, consumed as he is with Washington intrigue, hes out of touch with his constituents. And let me say this to all of the chattering class that so much focuses on those little, tiny, yes, porky amendments, he declared in the Senate chamber last year. The American people really dont care. It took him a while to figure out that the administrations decision to try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a stones throw away from Ground Zero wasnt popular in the Big Apple. Not until last week did the senator get around to asking the administration to try the sheikh somewhere else.
Kudlow could exploit such tone deafness in a campaign that would almost certainly be the best thing to happen in New York politics in decades. New York politicians are even less used to confronting intelligent opposition than Massachusetts ones. A Kudlow challenge would force Schumer to defend not merely the greasy deal-making hes abetted in Washington, but the ruinous economic calculus of the policies his deals are meant to prop up. It would be a fascinating and enlightening spectacle.
Run, Larry, run.
Michael Knox Beran is a contributing editor of City Journal. His most recent book is Forge of Empires 1861-1871: Three Revolutionary Statesmen and the World They Made.
Isn’t Larry a citizen of Conn.?
Conservatives, be warned, LK has some issues in his past.
However, he has had the courage to overcome his weaknesses, and he is a model citizen and true conservative leader.
Larry’s a very accomplished guy. Methinks he won’t step into the race unless he is 100% in and in it to win.
I wish Peter Schiff would do similarly in CT, instead of nibbling around the edges. Otherwise, we could use another business titan (besides Linda McMahon) to step in up there.
I was just about to post the fact that ANY Republican should be squeaky clean. The Media will nail to the wall anyone not kowtowing to them; anyone connected to the Right and the Tea Party Movement. I hope his issues don’t offend the purists on the Conservative side.
It's his Sept 2008 support for TARP.
No one who supported that atrocity will ever get a vote from me.
However, do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Kudlow is FAR FAR FAR better than Schumer, and Kudlow might actually win.
Do you have any other ideas?
If not, get with the program!
I seem to remember in Imperial Earth
Arthur C. Clarke conjectured that the
President should be drafted, dragged into
the White House kicking and screaming,
and only let out for good behavior.
Works for me.
“Conservatives, be warned, LK has some issues in his past.”
Um... Yeah. And I don’t think those will play well on the campaign circuit.
Soooo...voting for Schumer is better?
Did you jump on the investigative reporter, who got busted in Senator Landreu’s office?
“We all fall short of the Glory of God” -—
Conservatives who expect all other conservatives to be perfect are hypocrites, as they can not be perfect, themselves!
Kudlow would be great.
If a firefighter came to your house, to put out a fire, would you do a background check on him first, and then a drug check, and then a credit check, before letting the firefighter do his job?
It is the way that Kudlow would VOTE in the Senate, that counts.
You act as though you are St. Peter, guarding the gates of Heaven.
Get over yourself.
Politics is NOT about saving souls.
Politics is about getting those who agree with you to the polls!
Larry needs to run - don’t forget how Schumer would NOT get off his cell phone on the plane and he called the stewardess a bitch! THAT IS HOW HE FEELS ABOUT REGULAR FOLKS - SO, REGULAR FOLKS NEED TO GIVE CHUCKY THE FINGER! THE THUMB as in YOU’RE OUT!
Conservatives, be warned, LK has some issues in his past.
Larry Kudlow is one man who has been honest and upfront about his past, and has exposed his past along with the solutions that worked for him. I have heard him do that on his own radio program. He hasn’t tried to brush it under the rug, and admits his moral/personl failures. He has a definite marker in life when he dealt with those things and straightened them out, and started on the road upwward . . .
. . . upward to helping others in similar situations to get out of their vices and head upwards.
In Kudlows case, if Schumer or the Dems were to try to use those things, I think it would turn to bite them in the tail end. And that would be without Larry having to be vicious about Schumer’s or others’ moral problems.
Kudlow also thinks Pelosi is a despicable person. Gotta like that.
TARP was in many ways the template for Obamanomics. Anyone who would support it has a minimal grasp at best of how the free market works, notwithstanding their mouthing all the right-sounding phrases as Kudlow does.
Yes we did. We needed to insist that housing and housing backed assets be allowed to seek a market, equilibrium price, and that assets holders take their writedowns like grown men.
We still need to do that. We haven't done so yet.
Agreed. IMO the cocaine addiction (which was not that long ago) makes this a lost cause.
In New York?
I don’t think so.
He beat his addiction, and is an inspiration to millions on that issue.
This is truth -—
Liberals used that truth to get conservatives on board a financial bail out.
Then, liberals twisted the entire purpose of that bail out, after the fact.
Anyone who can be schmucky, I'm all for it.