Ralph Benko has a column today that will make you ponder:
Shortly thereafter I was able to plant the suggestion, through a mutual friend, that Gov. Cuomo name the Empire State Plaza tower building, the tallest skyscraper between NYC and Montreal, in honor of Albany’s beloved, dying, mayor Erastus Corning, 2nd. Cuomo promptly did so. Soon thereafter I got tipped off that Gov. Cuomo was going to be making an appearance at the local PBS affiliate’s telethon.
I volunteered to answer phones that night and, there, handed Mario Cuomo Jude Wanniski’s The Way The World Works. This book had inspired me to enlist in the supply-side revolution. Cuomo took it and remarked, “Hey, I know this book. It’s Jack Kemp’s bible. I’ll read it with interest. Thanks!” At my prompt Jude contacted Cuomo but nothing came of it.
Mario Cuomo went on to serve honorably as governor for three terms even without adopting the supply-side agenda. He is mostly now remembered for an eloquent speech at the 1984 Democratic nominating convention. “A Tale of Two Cities” was a soaring flight of political rhetoric, propelling him to party stardom, and for a long coy flirtation with a presidential run. The Democrats who adopted the supply-side agenda of equitable prosperity, Bill Bradley and Dick Gephardt, rose in national stature.
Our friend Ralph Benko is out with a new book today, with co-author William Collier entitled The Capitalist Manifesto: The End of Class Warfare, Toward Universal Affluence. Though not exclusively about supply-side economics, there are some mentions that are worth noting, including this passage:
The Supply-side’s political quarterback, Jack Kemp, was a former labor leader as was its premier wide receiver, Ronald Reagan. The man who primarily propelled the reduction of the top marginal income tax rate (already down from 70%) from 50% to 28% was … US Senator Bill Bradley. He did so in partnership with Democratic center-left leader Democratic Representative Richard Gephardt.
Thus, Ronald Reagan’s greatest tax-rate cutting triumph got more of its impetus from the left than the right, resulting in a Senate victory margin of 98-2. This is how transformation happens.
Supply-side economics is capitalism and properly implemented is at the core at what would be a capitalism renaissance. Coffeehouse readers are encouraged to give this book a try and at its inexpensive price, give it as a gift this upcoming holiday.
Reagan, Kemp, and The Once and Future Politics
From our friend Ralph Benko at Townhall.com:
The defining quality of Kemp and Reagan — with both of whom I had the privilege of working (at the political equivalent of ‘second lieutenant’ level) — was more than optimism. It was heroism. Other notable optimists have been reduced to a footnote in history. Kemp and Reagan’s optimism was harnessed to grittily undertaking an “Impossible Dream” in the face of daunting odds.
Kemp rescued Capitalism from the dust bin of history. Jack Kemp undertook the vanquishing of stagflation’s hideous, economy-and-morale-killing, Misery Index. He did so by challenging the then-conventional wisdom of easy money + high tax rates with a demand for good money + low tax rates.
For this he was, and all the Supply-Side guerrillas were, ridiculed by the Establishment — of both parties! — as “Voodoo Economists.” We still are. Jack’s courage and intellect, as much as his optimism, brought about an epic transformation of the US and world economy.
The Dow rose from 814 to, eventually, 27,000+. Some Voodoo!
Read the entire column here.
Our friend Ralph Benko has a review of George Gilder’s most recent book:
There is, of course, a conservative or libertarian way of addressing the problems caused by Big Data. My old friend George Gilder, a well-respected high tech (and conservative economic) guru has written a splendid book,Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and The Rise of the Blockchain Economy. It points us in the right direction.
Why listen to Gilder? Gilder wrote the “bible” of the Reagan Revolution, the million-selling Wealth and Poverty, andwas the living author most quoted by President Reagan. Thereafter, Gilder’s book on the microchip, Microcosm, predicted how the silicon chip would create trillions of dollars of value, and — not so incidentally — transform our lives. It did so.
Read the entire review here.
Ralph Benko has a timely piece today at Forbes.com:
According to the report of one Kemp insider, Reagan, on the verge of his presidential campaign, came to seek Kemp’s endorsement. The Reagan campaign’s purpose was to prevent Kemp from entering the race too, splitting the conservative base. Jack Kemp offered his endorsement in return for Reagan’s endorsement of the Kemp-Roth 30% across-the-board tax rate cut.
That policy was controversial among both Republicans and Democrats. It was famously attacked by Reagan’s chief rival for the 1980 presidential nomination, George H.W. Bush, as “voodoo economic policy.” Reagan, on the advice of his then-top advisors, reportedly intended to check Kemp’s box, pocket Kemp’s endorsement, and never mention the tax rate cut again.
Until, that is, President Carter attacked Reagan’s endorsement of Kemp-Roth as irresponsible. Reagan rose to its defense. Carter doubled down. So did Reagan.
And Dan Mitchell for the win!
Our friend, Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania discussed tax reform, including SALT deducations, with John Catsimatidis on The Cats Roundtable. Listen to the discussion here (less than 10 minutes long).
☕ Ralph Benko’s latest for Forbes.com addresses the chaos in the West Wing and how that relates to (or not) economic growth:
But only Trump has the power to really work this out, by directing his advisors — all of them — to start focusing on the right question. How to engineer a 3% – 4% economic growth rate? Getting there is not a mulligan.
– – – – –
The clashing of White House camps is an inevitable artifact of sluggish growth. All President Trump needs to do to bring about a just and lasting West Wing peace is to focus his team better. The way of producing harmony in the West Wing — and popularity in the polls — is for the President to issue a sticky note to each of his economic and political advisors that says, simply “How do we get real economic growth up from 2% to 3% or 4%, and fast?” Trump, alone, has the power to do this.
– – – – –
Getting growth is an empirical, not an ideological, thing.
Worked for JFK. Worked for Reagan. Worked for Clinton.
Would work for Trump.
– – – – –
Reagan supported Chairman Volcker’s wringing inflation from the economy. When that was accomplished, and Reagan’s across-the board tax rate cut was fully phased in, America enjoyed a cumulative 3.5+% economic growth rate with a spectacular 7% year. Mr. President? That was huge.
☕ Dan Mitchell also has a new post that while not strictly economic, does matter in the economic realm. As we know, money taxed away from the people is money taken out of the consumer economy.
☕ If you can get to Dallas on May 9th…
☕ John Tamny discusses David Malpass in this Real Clear Markets column:
With Janet Yellen expected to depart after her first term, interviewers frequently ask me whom I would choose as her replacement as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. My answer is always the same: David Malpass.
While the Federal Reserve presently serves no useful purpose such that its shuttering would affect a tiny percentage of the U.S. whole, the reality is that it still exists. And it’s going to exist for a long time.
☕ Ralph Benko writes about Alan Greenspan in the news for The National Pulse:
Most striking of all of his comments is Dr. Greenspan’s open declaration that under his chairmanship, during the high-growth, low-inflation period known as “the Great Moderation,” “US monetary policy tried to follow signals that a gold standard would have created. That is sound monetary policy even with a fiat currency.”
That the Greenspan Fed then was targeting the price of gold has long been a matter of inference and speculation. Tracking the vibrant economic growth period of monetary policy known as “the Great Moderation” demonstrates a great consistency with stability for the market price of gold.
That consistency drew an inference in some circles that the Greenspan Fed, during the Great Moderation, used the price of gold as a primary target in deciding whether to ease or tighten.
Greenspan’s recent interview provides, however, the first explicit declaration I have seen by the former Fed Chairman that this was intentional rather than coincidental. Had Greenspan stuck to that “sound monetary policy even with a fiat currency,” we would never have experienced the Panic of 2008 and the ensuing Great Recession.