“Profits are the 'mother's milk' of the stock market, and you can call me a Tit Man.”
Lawrence Alan "Larry" Kudlow (born August 20, 1947) is an American economist, television personality, newspaper columnist, and Republican Party policymaker. He hosted CNBC's Kudlow & Company, a show whose title let him pretend he runs a company rather than just telling other people how they should run theirs. From there, he went on to write a blog, host a three-hour radio show syndicated out of WABC in New York City, and write columns, letters to City Hall, and pro-free-market graffiti in toilet stalls.
Kudlow's ardent support for what he calls free-market kappalism was evident from the inspiring monologue he delivered at the start of each hour of his radio show: "We believe that windfall profits are the mother's milk of stock-market gains! Capital formation through accelerated depreciation is our creed — and the Republican Party is our steed!" Kudlow was widely credited with bringing the exclamation point to the medium of radio.
On CNBC, Kudlow sat patiently in a corner in his three-piece pin-stripe suit until some left-wing woman was brought in for a dippy Point-Counterpoint feature. At that point, he sprang into action, interrupting, gesturing, and raising his voice until his adversary retreated in tears to the green room, with Kudlow's falsies sunk into her leg at about the calf. From 2018 to 2021, Kudlow was the Director of the National Economic Council under the Trump administration, leading to one of the fastest complete transfusions of ideology in history.
Kudlow worked in the Reagan administration, directing economics and planning; and his plan was for his boss, Budget Director David Stockman, to dummy up that tax cuts would pump up the deficit, or at least to stop dissing the President in public. Reagan later took Stockman to the "woodshed," about which Kudlow says, "He should have listened to me. 'They' never do."
Having never successfully given Washington a piece of his mind, Kudlow turned to broadcasting in hopes that his audience might give it a piece of his mind. In 2001, Kudlow had cameo appearances on CNBC on a show renamed Kudlow & Cramer. (Its original name was Mad Money; no; that was a bad decision; I get that.) Co-host Jim Cramer never parlayed his relative youth, fitness, and fighting ability into first billing above Kudlow, but he was a superior blowhard, and the partnership only lasted three years. The network experimented with other names, such as Kudlow & Throat Lozenges (some say they are Nicorette) and Kudlow & Dead Air. Ultimately, however, the name is irrelevant, as the names of all CNBC's programs change every two hours during the trading day to make the viewer think something different is going on.
More politics, then more broadcasting
In 2018, President Donald Trump appointed Kudlow to run the National Economic Council. Trump had gotten the U.S. economy almost to 3½, using some of Kudlow's ideas but none of his erstwhile addictions.
Kudlow repeatedly proposed that stock traders not pay tax when they make money, but (But-but-but!) only when they make enough money to beat inflation. Trump sent his signature mixed messages, warning that the proposal discriminated against non-stock-traders.
In 2020, the economy plumbed the negative part of the number line, as the Coronavirus and the reaction to it torpedoed the Trump legacy as well as the Trump second term, and Kudlow returned to radio and television.
In 2021, upon exiting the Trump administration, Kudlow refused to return to CNBC, now believing them to be agents of the Deep State. He instead joined the Fox Business Network to host a new weekday program, simply titled Kudlow, to better channel the "calmness" of Trump.
On his talk radio show, Kudlow takes calls from sycophantic veterans of World War I, callers using scramblers who want to talk about the Trilateral Commission, and guys who just want an expert to pat them on the back for their choices of stocks. The guests on the show comprise a wide range of supply-side economists from many different departments of the Reagan administration, who amazingly reach identical policy conclusions with almost no prompting by the host. Some of his guests are "financial analysts." They don't talk about what is happening but about the "big story." This means that, if the listener would only subscribe to their investment newsletters, which are full of big stories, one would never go wrong in the stock market.
Kudlow believes that business taxes should be slashed and that workers constitute an undue burden on their employers. He adheres to supply-side economics, which holds that if government gives stuff to the rich, then everyone else will adapt, which is what they do best. He argues that growth is a solution to the national debt, much as front-wheel-drive cars, and sometimes even airplanes, can avoid a crash just by slamming on the gas pedal, and a conservative can win any debate by just continuing to raise his voice.
Kudlow swears allegiance to King Dollar (pictured). However, in late 2019, as the Trump economy plummeted to 2% growth on the eve of the elections, Kudlow duct-taped His Majesty's mouth shut and joined Trump's call for fountains of fresh new money, accusing the Federal Reserve of sabotaging Trump by setting interest rates high enough to get savers to empty their mattresses and take the cash to a bank.
Kudlow spent his college career as a socialist, involved in the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), though he did not personally plant any bombs in police stations. He doesn't do that any more. Also, he was born a Jew, but he doesn't do that any more either. Or drugs. But the rest of his positions are rock-solid.
Kudlow's most rock-solid positions have been as follows:
- That Rep. Barney Frank was experiencing a Biblical rapture when he confessed doubts about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae during his electoral close call in 2010, and would thereafter govern as a libertarian.
- That the Tea Party movement would personify the 112th Congress and unprecedented responsibility would replace backslapping, favor-trading, and business-as-usual.
- That, after President Obama's election rout over Mitt Romney in 2012, there was new hope that Obama would take a fresh new look at Romney's tax proposals, which Kudlow had written.
In 2022, Kudlow met with Eric Adams after his election as mayor of New York City. Kudlow declared, "He'll be all right. Hell of a dresser!"
Kudlow believes that the economy would also be "all right" if we could just get all these 2s up to 3s. He personally is holding out for 3½, as he is a 3½ kind-of-guy.