Larry Kudlow: Bernie Sanders cannot ignore the facts


Larry Kudlow: Inflation rate was ‘slightly above 1%’ when Biden took office

FOX Business host Larry Kudlow blasts Sen. Bernie Sanders and President Biden on their economic agendas on ‘Kudlow.’

Four days left until the midterm elections and closing statements are in the air. As I mentioned last night, Joe Biden's threat to democracy speech in Union Station, D.C. kind of bombed. 

Everybody in the country is worried about inflation, economy, crime, illegal immigration, fentanyl, parents overseeing their kids' schooling and, of course, high energy prices along with shortages of diesel fuel and home-heating oil. Mr. Biden didn't mention any of that. Instead, he gave this height-of-hypocrisy speech, self-righteous talk — somehow 74 million Republicans are evil and violent, kind of painting a picture like Republican housewives in the suburbs, storming out of their houses every day with a 12-inch kitchen knife going after their neighbors who might've voted Democrat. 

Alright, I’m just kidding here. I’m exaggerating a little bit, but that's where Biden was going it seemed to me and by the way, as we are learning daily, suburban soccer moms are actually flocking to the Republican Party again, deserting Biden's Democrats in droves.   



President Biden delivers remarks at an American technology company

President Biden delivers remarks at an American technology company that will benefit from the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act.

More interesting to me was a piece on Fox Digital by Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist and a man who I have always held in high regard frankly, even though I completely disagree with his point of view. Mr. Sanders defended the Biden economic record, as befitting a socialist defender of socialism.  

Now, the senator argued that inflation is a problem, but the underlying cause of it is corporate greed. Astronomical increases in corporate profits are driving up prices of gas, airline tickets, food, prescription drugs and so forth. 

He attacked oil companies, attacked the airlines, attacked the pharmas. What he neglected to say is that during the height of the pandemic year, in 2020, every one of these companies, in all those industries and their shareholders lost a fortune in a shuttered economy that absolutely crushed all their profits. So, what you got for the last year really is just kind of a rebound to normalcy. No discussion about excessive spending and money printing, it’s all corporate greed. 

Now, my favorite point on this is still Joe Biden's attack on Exxon for making $22 billion in the last year, but then again Mr. Biden forgot to tell folks that Exxon lost $20 billion during COVID. You could multiply that scenario through all these industries and all these companies. But then in his piece, Sen. Sanders goes on to say that in early 2021, at the time of President Biden's inauguration, "The United States was suffering its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression." 

Alright, let’s go to the scoreboard. At some point in this discussion, factoids matter. Here are just a couple. 

By the time Joe Biden came into office, the U.S. economy was in a strong, V-shaped recovery from the pandemic shutdown. First quarter GDP, in fact, in 2021 was 6.5% at an annual rate. Now, the peak unemployment rate from the COVID collapse in the second quarter of 2020 was 14.7%. By the time Joe Biden arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., it had fallen to 6%. OK? 14.7% unemployment at the worst COVID peak down to 6%. These of course, legacies of the Trump economy.  

Actually, in today's jobs report the unemployment rate is 3.7%. So, really it hadn’t fallen nearly that much over the past two years from 6 to 3.7 and, by the way, just as a reminder, the inflation rate was only slightly above 1% when Mr. Biden took office. Now, these are facts. I can't do any better than that.  

Now for Mr. Sanders, who I generally respect, he cannot ignore these facts. Now, I do expect him to go on about corporate greed — that's a familiar socialist talking point and no one is surprised that he touts a windfall profits tax for American business. Mr. Sanders is nothing if not a consistent socialist who loves workers, he just doesn't like the businesses that hire the workers and can't imagine that companies without profits can't hire. Right? You got to have profits in order to hire, but companies with profits do, in fact, hire. 

When Donald Trump slashed corporate tax rates, which created the strong grounding that actually withstood the terrible COVID disaster, he provided the opportunity for strong profits that led to the hiring of those 13.9 million people between April 2020 and March of 2021. By the way, since then, 8.9 million folks have returned to work. Fine, I’m all for it, but that's still a lot less than the 13.9 million that came back to work on the job during Mr. Trump's V-shaped recovery… just saying.  

Joe Biden also talks about how when he took office, the economy was in "ruins"… ruins! Of course, a patently untrue point. He said it again last night in New Mexico. He said it many other times and of course, Mr. Biden is incapable of telling the truth about the economy or inflation, or falling real worker wages, or sky-rocketing grocery prices, or any number of other things, for that matter.  


Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021. Democrats and Republicans must decide in the next day or two how far to take their deadloc (Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

We would play the sound from his speech in New Mexico, but really, I can't take anymore of Biden's sound this week. I just can’t. It's too hard. Then again in New Mexico, Biden blathered on about how the Trump tax cuts only benefited the top 1%, only helped the top 1%, which is a complete falsehood.  

As we've said so many times, the biggest winners were the blue-collar, middle- and lower-income folks, minority groups, like Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, including women. Poverty tumbled. Inequality fell — by the way Trump taxed the high end by denying their write-offs for state and local income taxes and deductions. How many times do we have to correct the president's extraordinary, factual ignorance? Well, I guess the answer is: many times. I don't mind. I'm up to the task. It's not such heavy lifting. Socialism never works. The country doesn't want it, and that's why the cavalry is coming in just a few more days.  

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow's opening commentary on the November 4, 2022, edition of "Kudlow." 

Source: Read Full Article