$1,400 Stimulus Checks Are Helping China: Former Trump Aide

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Larry Kudlow spent the last half of the Trump Administration as the top economic adviser to the president, as director of the National Economic Council. Since the change in Administrations, Kudlow has returned to his former role as a media figure, now hosting a show on Fox Business.

This has put Kudlow in a position to criticize the actions of the people in the Biden Administration who replaced him directly, and he did just that on his Fox Business show this week, the transcript of which appeared on the Fox Business website. In it, Kudlow criticized the Biden Administration’s economic policies.

The gist of the argument being made by Kudlow is that the stimulus money paid out by the U.S. government since the start of the pandemic has served to stimulate China’s economy instead.

China’s GDP [went] up 18% in Q1, led by exports rising 38%, those are exports to the U.S. It’s a new record. Meanwhile, US retail sales jumped 14% in the first quarter,” Kudlow said on the show. “The [stimulus] lead in part to surging consumer spending, and unfortunately, surging consumer spending went to buying all kinds of goods and gadgets, including Apple’s iPhone. All this led to massive China growth and exports and a larger U.S. trade deficit with China than ever before.”

While iPhones are largely made in China, Apple, which is an American company, benefits when people buy iPhones, to the tune of record growth and valuations during the pandemic.

“This is not what folks bargained for. This is major unintended consequences. Do we really want to help China this way? Do we really want to stimulate China? I don’t think so, and I think from the standpoint of way too much government spending, which is bad on the merits, and rising taxes to pay for it, which is bad on the merits, our Chinese stimulus packages are very, very bad, Right?”

Kudlow was an adviser to President Trump when the president signed two different stimulus packages that involved direct payments, including the CARES Act in early 2020 and the second round of checks last December.

Kudlow, who regularly appeared on television while working for the administration, had said on CNBC last October (per Business Insider)  that there wasn’t enough time to pass another stimulus package ahead of the presidential election, which at that point was less than a month away. The package with $600 checks ended up passing in December, after the election.

“I mean, yes, but destroying America’s economy would also hurt China’s economy, so…,” journalist Isaac Stone Fish wrote on Twitter in relation to Kudlow’s comments.

 Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.