By Mimi Nguyen Ly and Joshua Philipp
Former President Donald Trump pursued policies that fought against a drift into socialism and culminated in an “absolute success story for the little guy,” according to Kevin Hassett, an economist who was Trump’s top economic adviser during the initial years of the Trump administration.
Going into the presidency, Trump “absolutely understood that he was fighting a very big, powerful historical force … and he also knew 100 percent that he was fighting for the little guy,” Hassett, who served as the 29th Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2017 through 2019, recently told EpochTV’s Crossroads program.
Hassett is also vice president of the Lindsey Group and a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. His latest book, titled “The Drift: Stopping America’s Slide to Socialism,” details how the United States has been descending into socialism and how Trump moved to resist the slide. In his book, Hassett details how the American people can also push back against the ongoing “drift.”
The Trump administration pursued policies that cut taxes and regulations, changing the U.S. economy for the better, Hassett told Crossroads, adding that during the years he served in the Trump administration, “income inequality dropped sharply for the first time since World War Two, wages grew faster for people in the bottom 10 percent of the wage distribution than for people at the top, as did wealth.
“The homeownership grew startlingly for people at the bottom 10 percent, seven million people went off food stamps, and three million people went out of poverty,” he added. “It was an absolute success story for the little guy. And yet, the more the good news came, the angrier and angrier the left wing got.”
Despite the economic successes that were in part spurred by Trump policies, “all these people that became never-Trumpers, that distanced themselves from Trump, [it was] because they were afraid of losing their own respectability,” Hassett said.
This included “Bush Republicans [who] never came to the defense of Donald Trump’s people even when they were fighting for the right policies,” he noted.
The left uses the weapon of “respectability” created by the leftist-controlled universities and media that touts socialist ideology as one way to influence how people think, Hassett suggested.
“Because the left would control of the universities and the control of the media, they act as that is if they could actually give people or take away their respectability.
“These [leftist] folks don’t want Trump to succeed, because in the end, they don’t maybe necessarily care about income inequality. It’s just a political device for them to get the political power, they need to seize control of the society, and to take the power for themselves and really take totalitarian power.”
Hassett said his book identifies the various forces aligned against the idea of capitalism and free markets, and “how organized these forces are, where they are, what their tactics are, and what we can do to stand up to them.
“You need to learn what socialism is, you need to spot it in their policies.”
Central planning is “everywhere” in the agenda of the Democrats, Hassett said in the interview.
“Before you know it, the government basically controls the means of production, and distributes the goods, without regard to the price mechanism or productivity. And we could go on and on, but that’s the Democrats’ agenda.”
Hassett asserted that many of President Joe Biden’s policies are “proposing a socialist takeover of the means of production.” He provided some specific examples in the interview.
“If you see a country where policies like that survive, that it has to be that they created a government that can disregard the will of the people … if you look at the sort of ruthlessness with which the Democrats have been using the government to indict everybody, and so on, they really are trying to intimidate their way into having control over the economy,” Hassett commented. “And, you know, it’s up to us to stand up against them.”