White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow warns that Americans want to embrace capitalism and that the Democrat-led rush to socialism would set the nation back a century.
“You got all these people talking about socialism all of a sudden,” the veteran financial guru and former Ronald Reagan adviser told Fox News’ Bill Hemmer on Thursday.
“If you’re not a socialist in your 20s you have no heart and if you’re not a capitalist in your 30s you have no mind. I think right now (a Fox) poll is showing that working folks want to embrace capitalism, not some state-run, state-controlled socialism that will set our economy back 100 years or more,” said Kudlow, who worked as Reagan’s budget deputy between 1981 and 1985.
At one point in President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech last week, he made a sly reference to newly elected Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, a Democratic socialist who has become a fascination on the right, Bloomberg explained.
“We are alarmed by the new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” Trump said, vowing that “we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”
For his part, Kudlow remained optimistic about the “very strong economy” despite some data triggerng fears of problems in some analysts.
“My biggest concern frankly is that these pro-growth policies might be overturned and so many people in the opposition want to poison the well and poison the atmosphere,” said Kudlow, who served as the Trump campaign’s senior economic adviser.
“I don’t think that’s going to happen and why President Trump’s state of the union was so strong. We aren’t going to go to socialism. His speech in El Paso. You have to fight fire with fire. My view, you know, socialism is on trial,” said Kudlow.
“We, me, everyone in this group are not going to let these assertions and crazy policies pass without a strong rebuttal. That is going to be our position. The confidence in the psychology which is boosted by this president is the part that’s the most difficult and fragile. I won’t let that happen,” Kudlow said.
Kudlow’s sentiments echo Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who last week praised Trump’s economic leadership and vowed that the nation go “back to socialism.”
“The U.S. economy is doing terrific,” Mnuchin told CNBC last week. “And as the president talked about last night, his economic plan is working. We’re not going back to socialism. We’re going on an economic plan for America that works,” he said.
“We don’t believe in a centralized planned economy where the government puts restraints on it,” he told CNBC.
In his State of the Union address, Trump did not mention any names, but Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a democratic socialist, scowled.
“We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom — and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair,” Trump said.
“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” he continued, in what Bloomberg News called an apparent reference to newly elected Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, a Democratic socialist who has become a fascination on the right.
“America was founded on liberty and independence – not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free.”
“Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” he said.
The vow set off one of a number of “USA” chants in the House chamber.
Material from Bloomberg and Reuters has been used in this report.