Larry Kudlow and the Agony of the Supply-Sider

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 31 2012 1:22 PM

Larry Kudlow and the Agony of the Supply-Sider

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—On Thursday, before the convention's final night really started going, I spent some quality time at the Jack Kemp Foundation's tribute to the former congressman. Larry Kudlow, the ex-Reaganite and current CBNC host, sounded the only atonal note when he worried that Mitt Romney would not embrace a Kemp-style focus on taxes.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

"When the GOP talks growth, we win," said Kudlow. "When the GOP talks root canal, and deficits, and debt, we don't win, because the average working Joe doesn't doesn't sit around counting deficits. They want enough: Can they get a paycheck and keep more of what they earn? I want Romney to make this case."

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Hours later, Romney got to talk taxes. This is everything he said about them—"he" is Barack Obama.

His plan to raise taxes on small business won't add jobs, it will eliminate them;
We will champion SMALL businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them
Unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class.

Romney didn't talk debt, sure. The whole Republican campain has moved away from the debt issue. But if this Romney speech disappointed national security hawks (it was the first acceptance speech since 1952 with no mention war), it disappointed the supply-siders too.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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