As Americans know all too well, the coronavirus pandemic has forced government at all levels – federal, state, and local – to impose protective measures that amounted to a national shutdown. Many of the measures have been necessary, but they have also been devastating.
Since March 14, an astounding 26.5 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits. The unemployment rate, which was 3.5 percent in February, will likely be in the double digits in April.
And it will take time for these workers to return to the labor force. Many will not be able to go back to their old jobs. Too many families and businesses will continue to struggle, through no fault of their own.
Understandably, some governors want to begin to reopen their states. President Trump has unveiled federal guidelines for them to do so.
The three-phase plan recommends that states and localities show a two-week “downward trajectory” of coronavirus symptoms and documented cases before beginning to ease lockdowns. Simultaneously, hospitals should be able to treat all patients without crisis care and have robust testing in place.
As America begins the process of reopening, we need to have a plan. So I thought it would be helpful to hear from someone who is not only designing such a plan, but is also in a position to influence policy at the highest level.
In this week’s episode of my podcast “Newt’s World” I speak with Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council. As President Trump’s top economic adviser, there is no one better qualified to discuss this issue.
Kudlow, like me, is a strong believer in supply-side economics, which maintains that focusing on incentives for businesses, especially lower taxes and fewer regulations, creates more wealth, more jobs and more opportunities.
This framework was astonishingly successful for the first three years under President Trump, leading to strong, consistent economic growth and historically low unemployment rates. Only when the pandemic hit did the economy slow down, and Kudlow’s job is to get us back to the pre-coronavirus economy.
The economic model of limiting government’s role and prioritizing incentives has worked well for past presidents, including Ronald Reagan, and can succeed for President Trump.
May will be an important transitional month from a shutdown to a gradual reopening, and the key will be to let the free enterprise system flourish to create rapid economic growth.
I hope you will listen to this week’s episode to learn more specifically how we can revive American society after the pandemic. It is critical to hear what our president’s top economic adviser is advising at this pivotal moment for our country.
I also hope you will listen to the next episode of my ongoing series on health care breakthroughs during the coronavirus pandemic, which is set to air this coming week.