Larry Kudlow: Biden FTC is trying to strangle corporate America and free-market capitalism

Larry Kudlow: Biden FTC is trying to strangle corporate America and free-market capitalism

Well, let me just give you some Friday topics, okay? Let me start with today’s producer price index, which rose unexpectedly — a lot. Now, over the past 12 months, those wholesale prices have jumped 7.4%, food has risen 15.5% and energy 16.2%.

So let me get this straight. The Fed has raised its interest rate targets by leaps and bounds since the start of the year. Interest rates in all areas have gone up – a lot. Everyone is rightly worried about the recession, but headline inflation continues to climb. What’s up with that?

In fact, using the old methodology – a lot of people do this because a lot of people don’t believe the new methodology is good, but using the old measurement – the PPI for finished goods is actually up by 10.6% and actually even getting rid of energy and food, it’s up 8.1%. Now remember, remember the Fed’s inflation target is 2. They’re way off.

The Consumer Price Index will be released next week and the Cleveland Fed Nowcast estimates it will be around 6% annually for the month alone. So you could say that the Fed’s approach of smashing the economy isn’t working.


All the Wall Street demand people think inflation is over and Fed tightening is going to stop because the economy is collapsing, then they say there won’t be a real recession …we will all live happily ever after. Now I agree that we will all live happily ever after, but these inflation numbers are not convincing in the Fed battle and people have been denying the inflation problem basically for the past couple of years.

Which brings me to my final thought: why shouldn’t we turn the oil and gas taps back on? This will help inflation. Make sure Trump’s expiring corporate tax cuts don’t expire. Stop the regulatory war against small and large companies. Get rid of the IRS expansion. Grant the economy the freedom and incentives to produce more goods and services on the supply side. This will reduce inflation pronto as long as the geniuses at the Fed keep the dollar healthy and stable. Let’s not make this more difficult than necessary.

Now I have a second point tonight. Speaking of war on corporations, okay? I don’t know why Microsoft shouldn’t be allowed to buy Activision. Now listen, I’m no expert on these video games or Activision, in fact I think these video games are probably destroying our children’s minds and promoting violence and bad behavior, but they exist. That’s another topic. Microsoft, on the other hand, is a fabulous company. They will probably improve games or software delivery and they will probably reduce prices. In other words, big isn’t inherently bad.

Now Federal Trade Commission Chairman Lina Khan is a hardcore socialist. She hates business, she hates capitalism, and she hates successful business, and she’s got a whole paper trail over the years to prove it. The question that needs to be asked is whether consumers would be harmed by this merger. I haven’t seen any evidence of this.

These so-called vertical mergers, by the way, survived the courts and mostly turned out to be very positive in terms of lowering consumer prices. Let me repeat that the standard for anti-trust should not be “big is bad”. It should be “who is harmed, who are the victims, what is the impact on consumer welfare?” Lina Khan has proven none of this.

The Biden FTC is trying to strangle corporate America and free market capitalism because they’re socialists, and when they’re not trying to strangle corporate America and free market capitalism, they’re dragging out incredibly dumb climate rules and restrictive, which is itself a form of central planning stuck down the throats of Americans who don’t want it. The latest example concerns the climate rules for our new defense weapon systems.

You know, by the time they’re done Northrop Grumman’s new B-21 stealth bomber, which is a fabulous thing, it’s incredibly good for the defense of America – by the time these climatic rates are done, they will have to operate these bombers by small triple-A batteries.


Microsoft and Activision logos

The Microsoft logo is seen on a smartphone placed over the Activision Blizzard logo displayed in this illustration taken January 18, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)

What is this sound that I hear? It’s the sound of the Chinese cheering on American stupidity. It is the regulatory state at work to promote America last and American decline, but I don’t want American decline. I want America first. I want free market capitalism, not socialist central planning.

I’m sick of these ideologues running around the Biden administration who really don’t like America, okay? Let’s say it with some truth. This is my Friday riff.

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the December 9, 2022 edition of “Kudlow”.

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