Midterms 2018

Obama Takes Credit for Booming Economy; Kudlow Not Having It

President Donald Trump is a 'tax cutter' and his predecessor was a 'tax hiker,' the NEC director insisted

Image Credit: Screenshot, YouTube/Fox News & Shutterstock

Former President Barack Obama tried to take credit for the booming economy under President Donald Trump’s administration, and National Economic Council (NEC) Director Larry Kudlow was not having it.

“I don’t think he is right, with all respect to former President Obama,” Kudlow (pictured above left) said Tuesday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”

Kudlow noted that the “so-called recovery” under Obama’s “stewardship” wasn’t the greatest.

“Already, we have beaten our critics, including Obama’s staff people. We’re running an economy that’s 3 to 4 percent economic growth,” he said. “And the whole change here, look — President Trump has cut tax rates on small businesses and corporations and individuals. And he wants to do some more. That’s a huge change from President Obama.”

“President Trump has, you know, rolled back onerous regulations, and what you’re seeing now is a tremendous increase in men and women who own and operate their own small businesses,” Kudlow continued. “The president has stopped the war against success, stopped the war against energy, stopped the war against fossil fuels. He is rewarding success.”

Trump and GOP congressional candidates have been touting heavily the soaring economy ahead of the November midterm elections, citing Trump’s sweeping deregulations and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

“At stake in this Election is whether we continue the extraordinary prosperity we have achieved — or whether we let the Radical Democrat Mob take a giant wrecking ball to our Country and our Economy! #JobsNotMobs,” Trump tweeted Monday evening.

But Obama insisted Monday during a speech in Las Vegas that the credit goes to him.

“When I walked into office 10 years ago, we were in the middle of the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes,” Obama said. “By the time I left office, wages were rising, the uninsurance rate was falling, poverty was falling, and that’s what I handed off to the next guy.”

“So when you hear all this talk about economic miracles right now, remember who started it,” Obama added.

But Kudlow was not convinced, pointing to the highest consumer confidence the U.S. experienced in 18 years in September.

“Look at the confidence metric. Obama had nothing like that, with all due respect, again,” he said. “I don’t want to get tied up in personal attacks. Just saying, almost from the day of the election, consumer sentiment and small business confidence has soared. It had been falling.”

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Kudlow also pointed to the new round of middle-class tax cuts Trump promised would take place after the November midterm elections.

“Well, it’s in the planning stage,” he said. “So the president would like to go for more. He is a tax cutter. That’s a big difference from his predecessor, who was a tax hiker. And we’re going to try to work out some of the details on his proposal for a 10 percent middle-class tax cut.”

There was some confusion over the timing of Trump’s intended tax cuts because Congress currently isn’t in session. Kudlow clarified that “the general point of view” is these tax cuts would occur “after the election.”

“You want to compare this economy today with the economy of two or three years ago? Are you better off today?”

“But I think the president wants to message this policy ahead of the election. It is a pro-growth policy and you know, across the board, this economy is really humming,” he said.

“We’re the hottest economy in the world. And you know what? You want to compare this economy today with the economy of two or three years ago? Are you better off today? I believe you are overwhelmingly better off today,” Kudlow added.

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