Donald Trump Confronts The House That Jack Kemp Built
|Speaker Paul Ryan|
This meeting was an iconic moment that distilled the dynamics and douleurs of GOP 2016 perfectly. The modern GOP is the House That Jack — Jack Kemp — Built. That House is in disarray.
Jack Kemp championed, and inspired presidential aspirant Ronald Reagan to adopt, the economic formula that rescued America from decades of stagflation. Kemp unleashed an era of epic world prosperity.
Also, Kemp described himself as “a heavily armed dove.” Kemp was an exemplar of the “peace through strength” philosophy that Reagan embodied. Both used this philosophy to revive America as a force for peace and dignity in the world.
Is Trump the Anti-Kemp? Or is he a force of creative destruction that might resurrect the now decayed Kemp model? If the former, Trump is Ryan’s worst nightmare and greatest threat. If the latter, Trump embodies Ryan’s greatest aspiration and is an essential ally.
The iconic nursery rhyme that presaged our current political riddle has it:
The House That Jack Built
That belonged to the farmer sowing his corn
That kept the rooster that crowed in the morn
That woke the judge all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
James Hohman of the Washington Post nailed it in https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2016/05/12/daily-202-jack-kemp-s-ghost-haunts-paul-ryan-as-he-agonizes-over-donald-trump/57334087981b92a22d744615/?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_daily202"rel="nofollow" target="new">Jack Kemp’s ghost haunts Paul Ryan as he agonizes over Trump:
“Donald Trump is a Donald Trump Republican,” he added.
When he announced last week that he’s not ready to support the presumptive Republican nominee, he said he wants Trump to change first. “This is the party of Lincoln, of Reagan, of Jack Kemp,” Ryan said on CNN. “What a lot of Republicans want to see is that we have a standard bearer that bears our standards.”
Politico reports that the GOP nominee-apparent has turned to two bearers of Kemp’s Supply Side torch to refine the first sketch of his tax plan:
... Trump’s initial proposal, rolled out with fanfare at Trump Tower in Manhattan last September, has been in the spotlight since he became the presumptive Republican nominee last week and promptly declared that it was only a starting point for any negotiations with congressional Democrats, should he become president.
But it turns out Trump’s team is open to revamping it far sooner than that; the campaign last month contacted at least two prominent conservative economists — Larry Kudlow, the CNBC television host, and Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation and a longtime Wall Street Journal writer — to spearhead an effort to update the package.
... “What we’ve been trying to do is help advise him a little bit to try to reduce the cost of the plan” and still encourage economic growth, Moore said in an interview.
Trump’s initial plan has come under criticism from both the right and left for vastly expanding the deficit, with the nonpartisan Tax Foundation estimating it would add $10 trillion to the federal deficit in the next decade. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has moved quickly to tattoo the plan’s steep price tag onto Trump, with her team holding a call on Monday calling it a reckless expansion of debt.…
Kudlow and Moore are well known voices in conservative economic circles. They are two of the founders, with economist and former Ronald Reagan adviser Art Laffer and former GOP presidential candidate Steve Forbes, of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, established last year to advance for conservative economic policies.
“Bringing back the gold standard would be very hard to do, but boy, would it be wonderful,” the billionaire continued. ["We'd have a standard on which to base our money."]
Trump, on WMUR last year:
... Kemp’s Gold Standard Act, the missing link for restoring job creation and equitable prosperity, is even more important today than it was when first introduced. Want more jobs, better jobs, stable prices, and a quickly diminishing deficit — and happy voters of all parties?
Look no further than the Gold Standard Act. The Spirit of Jack Kemp rides again.
But this proffer – “we all believe that the reform would promote trade and production like nothing else” — shows the gold standard to be far from ridiculous. Indeed, in 2010, authoritative Keynes biographer Lord Skidelsky observed in the FT:
Ryan’s chief of staff Dave Hoppe, once upon a time Kemp's chief of staff, was a key architect of the Gold Standard Act, together with Lehrman and former Kemp economist John Mueller. Together the tax rate cut plus gold standard hold the essence of Kemp's recipe for prosperity and justice for all.
Fuse Trump's intuitive grasp of the spirit of equitable prosperity with Ryan's fine-tuned grasp of the way the world works and critical mass is achieved to the benefit of both and of America. The Kemp recipe for growth with fairness, a value both men share, is the great opportunity to unify the GOP and win this fall.
After their meeting Paul Ryan and Donald Trump jointly stated:
The Ryan-Trump meeting may have opened the door to the restoration of the House That Jack Built.
Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action's Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to the ARRA News Service. Founder of The Prosperity Caucus, he was a member of the Jack Kemp supply-side team, served in an unrelated area as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House. The article which first appeared in Forbes.
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