Special thanks to my great pals David Asman and Brian Brenberg for pinch-hitting for me while I got a much-needed vacation. They were terrific. So, there goes Joe Biden, leaving the confines of his seaside Delaware mansion, heading north to Philadelphia for a rare public campaign appearance on Labor Day.
Well, good for him. Except for what he said. Oh, my goodness. With the greatest respect, and I surely don't mean any personal attack, but once again our current president is simply incapable of telling the truth about the economy.
Simply incapable! Repeating lines that he knows aren't true. Of course, my favorite will always be his bragging about a $1.7 trillion deficit reduction. This has been awarded a Bottomless Pinocchio by the Washington Post fact-checker, who by the way, has a big fat liberal bias. It's a Bottomless Pinocchio, regardless of Glenn Kessler's bias.
There is no $1.7 trillion deficit reduction. Not now, not yesterday, not tomorrow under Mr. Biden. In fact, this year's FY '23 deficit will be well over $2 trillion and none of that includes a re-estimate of the poorly named "Inflation Reduction Act," which Team Biden has finally fessed up to be a climate subsidy bill and which the Penn-Wharton model and others are now scoring at over a trillion dollars. The original was about $250 billion. Go figure!
Of course, President Biden, who is a self-proclaimed devotee of constitutional democracy, refuses to abide by the Supreme Court decision, which prohibits the cancellation of student loans by executive order. Maybe someone should think about a lawsuit regarding Biden-esque insurrection. Just kidding.
Meanwhile, the president as usual attacked his predecessor for not creating any jobs or new buildings. Hear it for yourself:
JOE BIDEN: "Guess what? The great real-estate builder, the last guy here, he didn’t build a damn thing. The guy who held this job before me was just one of two presidents in history … left office with fewer jobs in America than when he got elected office. When the last guy was here, you were shipping jobs to China. Now we’re bringing jobs home from China. When the last guy was here, your pensions were at risk; we helped save millions of pensions with your help."
Well, Mr. Trump actually created massive tax-cut incentives for a huge volume of new plants, equipment and machinery. He also built a wall to protect the U.S. border with Mexico and, of course, Mr. Biden wouldn't finish the wall and left hundreds of millions of dollars of equipment to rust because of his open border policy, but I digress.
During the first 30 months of their respective presidencies, Mr. Trump generated 2.8 million more net new jobs than Mr. Biden, when properly adjusting for COVID returnees. That includes 250 thousand more in the manufacturing sector. Those are facts. By the way, speaking of jobs, the last two job reports suffered from two downward revisions. If you ask me, along with an inverted yield curve, collapsing money supply, I guess 16 straight months of declining index of leading indicators, I believe a recession threat is still very significant. I’d say about 65% in the next 12 months.
Then, Mr. Biden argues that he's making people pay their fair share in taxes. Of course, most of the Trump tax cuts are still standing – the only pro-growth element of the economy, but Mr. Biden insists that more than a thousand billionaires in the U.S. pay only 8% in federal taxes. I like this one especially, because this is a cockamamie calculation by White House staff of a non-existent wealth tax on unrealized capital gains.
There is no such tax, so I don't know what Biden is talking about, but that's ok, because he goes on and on about the big corporations having to start paying their fair share, which reminds me of my dear friend, the late Congressman Jack Kemp, who used to always say that "the trouble with Democrats is they like jobs, they just don't like the businesses that create jobs."
How we all miss Jack Kemp. I don't know all the rest of Mr. Biden's speech to the labor unions in Philadelphia, but I'm sure he prattled on about how he inherited a reeling economy with high inflation, forgetting the inconvenient facts that the economy in early 2021 was growing at 6.5% at an inflation rate of just 1.5%, which brings me to my last observation.
According to the recent Wall Street Journal poll, voters give Mr. Biden very low marks for handling the economy, but voters give former President Donald Trump very high marks for his record of accomplishments as president.
Interestingly, by an 8-point margin, more voters said Trump, not Biden, has a vision for the future. In recent white paper, Mr. Trump talks about unleashing prosperity by extending the Trump tax cuts, cancelling every new Biden regulation that's harming workers, opening the spigots for what he calls "liquid gold," and enacting the Trump reciprocal trade act to protect workers and manufacturers.
The former president is the only candidate in either party with a clear second-term economic agenda. That's why he has a massive polling lead for the GOP nomination and many of those very same polls show him defeating President Biden.
This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the September 5, 2023, edition of "Kudlow."