Kudlow urges GOP to adopt new pro-growth message

Lawrence Kudlow‘s latest column urges Republicans to back off their efforts to downplay the economic recovery.

Yes, Kudlow says, seasonal quirks and a lower-than-expected labor participation rate inflate job numbers in President Obama’s favor. But that’s not the point.

In the 12 months through December 2011, the economy produced 1.64 million new jobs, while in 2010, only 940,000 were created. On a monthly average basis, 137,000 new jobs per month were created in 2011, compared to only 78,000 a month in 2010. Things are getting better.

Now, whether this has anything to do with Barack Obama’s policies is quite another matter. After all, coming out of a deep recession, monthly jobs should be closer to 300,000 or 400,000, as they were during the Ronald Reagan recovery in 1983-84.

The unemployment rate should be falling much faster. This should be the Republican message.

Ironically, while Obama takes credit for better jobs today, his forecast at the time of the $800 billion stimulus package was for near 6 percent unemployment at this stage in the cycle. So, the stimulus didn’t work.

And in terms of recovery rates, pro-growth policies following a deep recession — as per the Reagan experience — might be creating 6 percent to 8 percent economic growth rather than the 2.5 percent tepid growth of the two-year Obama recovery.

Message to Republicans? Be bold. Adopt a 5 percent growth target. Don’t settle for less. Adopt a clear pro-growth platform that emphasizes aggressive fundamental tax-and-regulatory reform for individuals and businesses.

Especially make the case for the energy revolution, where blue-collar employment is vitally involved. Deregulate Obamacare to zero. Work on a sound King Dollar.

Most of all, get government out of the way. Instead, open the door for the animal spirits of risk-taking that could torque the economy. And work harder to make a case for limited government spending and deficit reduction, as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, has just done with a tough letter to the president.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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