LARRY KUDLOW: Biden is headed toward a big government bailout

Kudlow shreds Biden's leadership

The last few days, last couple of weeks actually, all eyes have been focused on a potential banking crisis and the Fed's interest rate hiking and the wobbly stock market and, of course, when it comes to politics, the potential Donald Trump indictment, which by the way, looks to be dead in the water, believe it or not. So far, no handcuffs, no perp walk, no nothing.   

In fact, the grand jury is not even meeting. That's what I call a big nothing-burger, but I want to put something else on the table for tonight's show: Joe Biden's polls are falling.   

The AP-NORC poll had Mr. Biden at a 45% approval rating in February and suddenly in March it dropped down to 38%. His all-time low, by the way, was 36% and on the flipside, his disapproval in February was 54%. By March, 61%.   

At the heart of the Biden polling slump, for whatever it's worth, this is just a tracking poll, but at the heart of it, his big problem is failing stewardship of the national economy. In February, it was at a 36% approval. Not much, I'll grant you, but in March, it dropped down to 31%.  


The flip side? His disapproval in February was 61%. That's a bad number, but in March, it jumped all the way to 68%, an even worse number. Now, the poll was taken March 16 to 20. Know what happened just before that poll on Sunday, March 12?    

Mr. Biden OK'd a bailout of Silicon Valley Bank. He also OK'd the bailout of Signature Bank and since then, his Treasury secretary has been running around Washington and who knows where else, saying things that don't make any sense to anybody.   

Most of all, the Biden administration decided on an FDIC guarantee of uninsured bank deposits. This infuriated people. In effect, this was a de facto policy statement by the administration that, if things got any worse, they'd be prepared to guarantee all uninsured deposits, all across the country. That's about $7 trillion.   

Of course, this puts taxpayers on the hook, right, because the banks have to pony up to cover the FDIC, but it's individual customers, who are also taxpayers, who are also hard-working families having trouble making ends meet, they don't like this either, and they're going to pay for it. 

Now, we don’t know how the bank problems are going to work out yet, but Biden policy is heading in the direction of a big government bailout, just like their policies on stuff like climate change, social welfare benefits, health care, ESG.   

In other words, big government socialism reigns and, by the way, it's not working. Interest rates keep rising, stocks keep falling and the economy looks very sloppy. Internally, the Bidens can't get it together. Yesterday, Jay Powell says, "Yes, Janet Yellen is right. If we need to, we're going to cover all the uninsured deposits."   

Janet Yellen yesterday, who said she would cover the uninsured deposits the day before, well she comes back and says, "I didn't say that. I didn't say that." The market went down 600 points. First Republic and the banks went down also.  

This is called moral hazard, OK? What does "moral hazard" mean? That means when the government guarantees something, behavior deteriorates in the banking sector. If the government says we're going to underwrite and guarantee $7 trillion worth of deposits, guess what? Bank managers could go wild and do very bad things.   

If you have any doubt about that, just look at what happened to Silicon Valley Bank, a rogue bank just chockfull of climate change and ESG and diversity and equity and all the rest of it.   


This is not good and I think that is one reason Mr. Biden's polls have come down so much and they may be in freefall. Now, I don't know how this thing's going to work out. I hope the banking situation can be contained. I have my doubts, but the one thing we know is that Joe Biden is in charge.   

The folks who work with him don't seem to be very consistent and the country is not full of happy campers. Quite apart from politics, the country is not full of happy campers, and that's my riff for tonight.  

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow's opening commentary on the March 23, 2023, edition of "Kudlow."