Where are Trump’s free mar­ket voices?

The pres­i­dent-elect needs a strong voice at the Coun­cil of Eco­nomic Ad­vis­ers

The Washington Times Daily - - EDITORIAL -

Don­ald Trump’s Cab­i­net se­lec­tions so far have been good — prin­ci­pled con­ser­va­tives like Dr. Ben Car­son at the Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment and Rep. Tom Price, a physi­cian, who will head the Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices. They have real-life prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence with solid cre­den­tials, and no apolo­gies. This is not the usual as­sem­blage of lawyers, lob­by­ists, po­lit­i­cal in­sid­ers and mil­lion-dol­lar donors.

But de­par­tures from the script in Cab­i­net nom­i­nees are cru­cial on the all-im­por­tant eco­nomics front. The two chief eco­nomic picks so far — Steven Mnuchin at Trea­sury and Gary Cohn to head the White House Na­tional Eco­nomic Coun­cil — are both Gold­man Sachs ex­ec­u­tives with no pol­icy pedi­gree and no ev­i­dence of de­vo­tion to the free mar­ket.

The last CEO from Gold­man Sachs to score a high-rank­ing Cab­i­net post was Hank Paul­son, ap­pointed by Ge­orge W. Bush. He turned out to be one of the most dis­ap­point­ing Trea­sury sec­re­taries ever. He was asleep at the be­gin­ning of the hous­ing cri­sis and he was the au­thor of the dis­as­trous bank bailouts, known as TARP. Would Messrs. Mnuchin or Cohn have done any­thing dif­fer­ent? Prob­a­bly not.

Larry Kud­low, who was an econ­o­mist with Ron­ald Rea­gan, is a fa­vorite of the Great Men­tioner in the run­ning to chair the Coun­cil of Eco­nomic Ad­vis­ers. He has been a eco­nomics com­men­ta­tor at CNBC and — full dis­clo­sure alert — a fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to these pages. Mr. Trump should run to Larry Kud­low and of­fer him the job. The Don­ald needs him as his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s free-mar­ket con­science and spokesman for the cause.

Messrs. Kud­low and Stephen Moore helped craft the Trump fis­cal and tax plans in the sum­mer. Mr. Kud­low has close ties to House Speaker Paul Ryan and most of the key com­mit­tee mem­bers of Congress who will de­ter­mine the fate of the Trump eco­nomic pro­gram. He could be the man carry the tax cut over the goal line.

Mr. Kud­low is a com­mand­ing voice for free trade. He has said he agrees with some of Mr. Trump’s trade pol­icy twists, such as get­ting tough with China, but wants to steer the new ad­min­is­tra­tion away from tar­iffs and trade walls. That voice of eco­nomic rea­son will be needed within the Trump Cab­i­net. The other con­tender for CEA is econ­o­mist Peter Navarro, who ap­peals to many of Mr. Trump’s pro­tec­tion­ist in­stincts.

The pres­i­dent-elect needs the Kud­low knowl­edge and skill if he re­ju­ve­nates the Amer­i­can econ­omy. Con­ser­va­tives would loudly ap­plaud this pick. The Kud­low eco­nomic creed is “free mar­ket cap­i­tal­ism is the best path to pros­per­ity.” There’s no bet­ter creed to em­brace, nor bet­ter messenger to bring it into the Trump Cab­i­net.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.