Lawrence Alan "Larry" Kudlow (born August 20, 1947) is an American economist, television personality, and newspaper columnist. He is the host of CNBC's Kudlow & Company, a show whose title lets him pretend he runs a company rather than just telling other people how they should run theirs. He also does a blog, a three-hour radio show syndicated out of WABC in New York City, and writes columns, letters to City Hall, and pro-free-market graffiti in toilet stalls.
Kudlow's ardent support for what he calls free-market Kappalism is evident from the inspiring monologue he delivers 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 is widely credited with bringing the exclamation point to the medium of radio.
On CNBC, Kudlow sits patiently in a corner in his three-piece pin-stripe suit until some left-wing woman is brought in for a dippy Point-Counterpoint feature. At that point, he springs into action, interrupting, gesturing, and raising his voice until his adversary retreats in tears to the green room, with Kudlow's falsies sunk into her leg at about the calf.
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, unfortunately, he was also 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.
On the radio, Kudlow takes calls from sycophantic veterans of World War I, callers using scramblers who want to talk about the Trilateral Commission, and guys who want help picking 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." What this means is that they don't talk about what is happening but what the "big story" is. 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 airplanes (and even front-wheel-drive cars) 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 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.
Some of Kudlow's recent positions, which are also rock-solid, are 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 will now 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.
- That it's "straight up" to 50,000 on the Dow.
Kudlow believes that the economy would 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.