Larry Kudlow has his work cut out for him

The economy seems good right now, jobs are recovering, and there are bright spots in the stock market.  But there's an undertow of ugly things that could submerge it all, starting with the news that the federal debt has reached $21 trillion, as Rick Moran noted here.  The dollar is weak, and that seems to be by policy, too.  And with White House economic adviser Gary Cohn's recent exit, there remains an atmosphere of ending longstanding free trade agreements, even with our largest trading partners, Canada and Mexico.  Just look at these dispiriting stories about swing states Virginia'sMissouri's, and Michigan's economies and the potential impact of ending the North American Free Trade Agreement.

This is a job for Larry Kudlow.

In light of the fact that President Trump himself seems to be behind all of these potentially dangerous economic policies (let's not panic, but we need to fix this), it's awfully interesting that Trump nevertheless appointed Kudlow to lead his National Economic Council, which sets broad economic policy.

A longtime free marketer, Kudlow has a record of hating bloated big government (which means big debt), supporting a strong currency (which encourages savings and wealth creation), and loving himself some free trade with all the help it brings to local economies by expanding their export markets.

He probably can't take it all on at once, but if he can get just one of them right, the economy should be in for some smooth sailing.

Here's the thing.  A nation can have a big debt load, probably not eternally, but for a long time, if it has no free trade and a strong dollar, which will attract foreign savers and investors who will help keep the debt paid.  Kudlow's job?  Fix the dollar; make it strong.

Or a nation can have a weak dollar, no free trade, and low government debt.  Kudlow's job?  Get the debt under control.

Or a nation can have a weak dollar, lots of debt, and free trade, which will help it export and crawl its way out of its debt morass.  This was how Chile in the 1980s and 1990s managed to clean up the last of the socialist mess left by Salvador Allende, which left the country bankrupt and in debt.  It won, and Larry Kudlow knows that it won.

Fixing any one of these will put the U.S. on sounder footing for sustainable economic growth and job creation.  Fix two, and the result is even better.  The Clinton administration played the strong dollar tack like a fiddle and opened the gates of free trade so it could have all the big government it wanted.  Fix three, and the result is unimaginably good.

It just highlights how tough Kudlow's job is going to be that we see all three potential sources of problems in the economy, with many forces lined up to keep it that way, and yet we also have this light of reason, who understands how economics works and how effective free markets are.

This is why so many of us out there are rooting for Larry Kudlow.  Go, Larry!