God, Cocaine, Money and Forgetting: A Look at Donald Trump’s New Economic Adviser

Kudlow returned to the private sector in 1987, headed to Wall Street and spent some years like every other debauched executive with an excess of cash and a waterbed in the tail end of the Me Decade: on weeklong cocaine binges. His drug problem caused him to resign from the investment bank Bear Stearns in 1994.

…But Kudlow kept drinking and snorting, and National Review fired him after a year. He hit rock bottom in 1995 and shipped out for five months in a Minnesota rehab. There, he ditched the coke and booze for good. Upon leaving rehab, he signed up for some Catholic Opus Dei retreats.

…He soon found his other true calling as the King of All Right-Wing Economic Media.

…Those investors apparently don’t know or care that Kudlow has been spectacularly wrong on the biggest economic turning points in modern history. Just before the real estate crash that provoked the 2008 global financial meltdown, he ridiculed people predicting that outcome as “bubbleheads” and was still assuring his listeners and viewers after the financial crash that there was nothing to worry about. As late as 2011, he predicted that the Obama administration stimulus program would create “1970s-style stagflation.” Meanwhile, the country has been seeing the lowest inflation in two generations and the lowest interest rates in history.

…. By selecting two of the discredited Laffer Curve’s biggest cheerleaders as his economic brain trust, Trump is sending up a smoke signal to the party bosses in Washington and in the Koch mansions that he’s still, wink-wink, one of them.

If he’s lucky—and he has been so far—his working- and middle-class supporters have as many holes in their memory as Kudlow does.

God, Cocaine, Money and Forgetting: A Look at Donald Trump’s New Economic Adviser



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