Save America. Cut Spending. Curb inflation. Slow the debt. Open the fossil fuel spigots. Restore work requirements and grow the economy. That was the gist of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s dynamic speech today at the New York Stock Exchange. He blasted President Biden for no second date. Take a listen.
SPEAKER KEVIN MCCARTHY: “Unfortunately, I have not heard from the White House since our very first meeting. President Biden has been missing in action and misleading the public. Mr. President, with all due respect, enough is enough. This is not how the leader of the free world should act. Your partisan political games are provoking the very crisis you claim to avoid. Greater dependency on China, increasing inflation and threatening Medicare and Social Security.”
It was a tough speech. McCarthy went on to make it very clear that a no-strings so-called clean debt bill without spending cuts is out of the question and McCarthy showed plenty of details such as returning federal spending to 2022 levels and limiting spending growth over the next ten years to 1 percent annually. He mentioned a claw back of unspent COVID money, the newly passed H.R.1 “Lower Energy Costs” Act and protecting Medicare and Social Security. Speaker McCarthy mentioned some of my favorites. For example, Ronald Reagan:
SPEAKER KEVIN MCCARTHY: “Almost 40 years ago, President Reagan came here to talk about the economic revival that America was experiencing under his leadership before ringing the opening bell. Reagan said these words: ‘We’ve moved from malaise to hope, confidence and opportunity, with that malaise for what it really was. Government with its high taxes, excess spending and overregulation had thrown a wrench in the works of our free markets. It’s time that government gets off its present spending spree before it squanders our future prosperity.’ Reagan’s words echoed throughout these halls as a warning for all of us today”
MCCARTHY WARNS AMERICA’S DEBT IS ‘A TICKING TIME BOMB’
If that Reagan stuff weren’t good enough, he mentioned Milton Friedman. Take a listen:
SPEAKER KEVIN MCCARTHY: It is basic economics that when Washington prints more and more money, prices go up and purchasing power comes down. As my favorite economist, Milton Friedman said it more than 50 years ago, inflation is made in Washington. Yet, rather than working with Republicans to find a reasonable agreement to tame inflation, provide certainty to the economy, President Biden is demanding that Congress make room for new debt without a single, sensible change how government spends your hard-earned money.”
Besides mentioning Reagan and besides mentioning Milton Friedman, he nailed Joe Biden to the wall again and again.
SPEAKER KEVIN MCCARTHY: “In the past 35 years, there has been eight major deficit reduction laws enacted by Congress. Every single one of them was attached to legislation that raise the debt limit, and every one of them was bipartisan. Why?”
A number of times McCarthy emphasized restoring work requirements to ensure that able-bodied adults without dependents earn a paycheck. I felt this is so important. Take a listen:
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SPEAKER KEVIN MCCARTHY: “Our proposal will also restore work requirements that ensure abled body adults without dependents earn a paycheck and learn new skills. Incentives matter and the incentives today are out of whack. It’s time to get Americans back to work. Don’t believe anyone who says our plans hurt American Social safety net. We’re a very generous nation and when people fall on tough times, will help them. That will not change. Assistance programs are supposed to be temporary, not permanent, a hand up, not a handout, a bridge to independence, not a barrier.”
To me, Kevin McCarthy is leading the House Republicans toward a strong growth and prosperity agenda: limited government, restrained spending, workfare, fossil fuels, low taxes, deregulation, King Dollar. This is a free-market populist agenda that can unify the country. It is the exact opposite of Joe Biden’s command and control central planning big government socialism which has led us into a stagflationary quagmire. Save America. Limit government.
This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the March 17, 2023, edition of “Kudlow.”