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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Donald Trump Confronts The House That Jack Kemp Built

Speaker Paul Ryan
by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: Recently Donald Trump met with Jack Kemp protégé House Speaker Paul Ryan. As the Washington Post aptly put it, “Ryan has the House. Trump has the party.” To quote the founder of the Republican Party, Abe Lincoln, who was quoting Scripture: “A house divided against itself can not stand.”

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 BuiltThis is the horse and the hound and the horn
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.
Will Trump turn out to be the man that kissed the maiden all forlorn, us immiserated voters? Or is he merely milking the cow, the GOP, whose horn has been crumpled by tone deaf political consultants?

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:Paul Ryan considers the late Jack Kemp one of his greatest mentors. The Speaker of the House described himself last month as “a Jack Kemp-Ronald Reagan Republican.”

“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.”
Jimmy Kemp, president of the Jack Kemp Foundation (with which I have a professional relationship), was quoted as stating:“If he chooses not to represent the conservative ideals and principles that the Republicans have represented, then it’s not incumbent upon others to bow down and kiss the ring and do whatever Mr. Trump wants,” said Jimmy Kemp, who is president of The Jack Kemp Foundation. “My dad’s not here; I don’t know what he would think,” the younger Kemp added during an appearance on Fox News earlier this week.What do the tea leaves have to say?

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:Donald Trump’s campaign has enlisted influential conservative economists to revise his tax package and make it more politically palatable by slashing the $10 trillion sticker price.

... 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.
Meanwhile, Trump has extolled a major, unfinished, Jack Kemp policy initiative: the gold standard.Donald Trump:In a GQ video interview, the billionaire said he would support … the gold standard.

“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."]
This was not the first time Donald Trump expressed his admiration for the gold standard.

Trump, on WMUR last year:WE USED TO HAVE A VERY SOLID COUNTRY BECAUSE IT WAS BASED ON A GOLD STANDARD FOR IT WE DO NOT HAVE THAT ANYMORE. THERE IS SOMETHING VERY NICE ABOUT THE CONCEPT OF THAT. IT WOULD BE VERY HARD TO DO AT THIS POINT AND ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IS WE DO NOT HAVE THE GOLD. OTHER PLACES HAVE THE GOLD.Fox News Opinions
I called Kemp’s Gold Standard Act of 1984 – co-sponsored by, among others, then-Reps. Newt Gingrich, Vin Weber, Connie Mack — Kemp’s “Unfinished Symphony.” And as I wrote in The Hill’s Congress Blog in 2014, [The] Spirit of Jack Kemp rides again:As a result of neglecting Kemp’s demand for “good money,” choosing instead the seductive but bad road of “cheap money,” job creation — and upward mobility by workers — slowed to a snail’s pace.

... 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.
To preempt the customary ridicule by Paul Krugman of The New York Times and Matt O’Brien of The Washington Post, let it be noted in passing that in a 2004 speech at Washington and Lee University then Federal Reserve Governor Ben Bernanke stated:The gold standard appeared to be highly successful from about 1870 to the beginning of World War I in 1914. During the so-called ‘classical gold standard period,’ international trade and capital flows expanded markedly, and central banks experienced relatively few problems ensuring that their currencies retained their legal value.And Herr Dr. Jens Weidmann, head of the Bundesbank, in a notable 2012 speech, stated,Concrete objects have served as money for most of human history; we may therefore speak of commodity money. A great deal of trust was placed in particular in precious and rare metals – gold first and foremost – due to their assumed intrinsic value. In its function as a medium of exchange, medium of payment and store of value, gold is thus, in a sense, a timeless classic.And one obscure economist by the name of John Maynard Keynes wrote in the Commercial Manchester Guardian Reconstruction Supplement on April 20, 1922:If the gold standard could be reintroduced..., we all believe that the reform would promote trade and production like nothing else, but also stimulate international credit and transfers of capital to the places where they are most useful. One of the greatest elements of uncertainty would be suppressed.This observation was used by Lewis E. Lehrman, founder and chairman of the Lehrman Institute (with which I once had a professional relationship), as the epigram to his definitive Paper Money or The True Gold Standard: A Monetary Reform without Official Reserve Currencies (The Lehrman Institute, 2012). Later Keynes changed his tune about gold.

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:Keynes’s famous dismissal of the gold standard as a “barbarous relic” does not quite capture his opinion of the metal, which he thought would be useful as a constitutional monarch but disastrous as a despot.Begin with an across-the-board reduction of marginal tax rates, now in the hands of Kemp acolytes and trusted Ryan and Trump advisors Kudlow and Moore. Conjoin it with the resurrection, far easier than Speaker Ryan or Mr. Trump may think, of Jack Kemp’s Gold Standard Act of 1984.

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:While we were honest about our few differences, we recognize that there are also many important areas of common ground. We will be having additional discussions, but remain confident there’s a great opportunity to unify our party and win this fall, and we are totally committed to working together to achieve that goal.Will Donald Trump prove to be the man capable of dramatically resurrecting the Kemp legacy of economic growth with economic justice? Will Paul Ryan hand Donald Trump the means of giving credibility to his pledge to become “the greatest jobs president that God ever created?”

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.

Tags: Ralph Benko, Donald Trump, Confronts The House, Jack Kemp, Built To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
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