If America wants prosperity of the type seen under the administrations of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s, then it has to do what was done then to bring about a golden financial age: Combine the attributes of low taxes with a strong dollar, according to financial commentator and author Larry Kudlow of Redding.

Kudlow, host of CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report” and now senior contributor for CNBC, has written a new book, JFK and the Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity, outlining this timely topic. His co-author is historian Brian Domitrovic.

It is his second economic book since American Abundance in the late 1990s. He will speak about the book and its postulations Thursday, Jan. 26, at the Wilton Library from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Kudlow will shed light on a time when bipartisanship was a driving force behind the thriving U.S. economy. In his book, Kudlow argues that the solutions needed to fix the current woes, in this election cycle and the ongoing aftermath of the Great Recession, stem from the free-market principles of limited government, low tax rates and a strong dollar, once put in place by the bipartisan wisdom of two great presidents.

The program is co-sponsored by the library, the Wilton Chamber of Commerce and the Wilton Economic Development Commission. A Q&A will follow the talk. There is no charge. Registration is required.
“The new book is a history that’s never been told before,” said Kudlow by telephone last Thursday from New York City, where he hosts a weekly radio show and writes a weekly syndicated column. “Whatever you think about lower tax rates, don’t blame Reagan, blame JFK.”

It was JFK who was first to combine the one-two punch of lower tax rates with a strong dollar. Reagan copied it 20 years later and gave JFK credit, Kudlow said.

“They work. In the 60s and the 80s, they worked. And the point is, we need to do it again,” Kudlow said.

The work needs to be done on a bipartisan basis, which is the way it was done during both the Kennedy and the Reagan administrations, Kudlow said. It would require a civil and respectful tone to government relations.

“We are missing civility and respect today,” he said. “It’s a very important part of our study. JFK and Reagan did not insult people, did not trash people.”

Kudlow said the book has been in his head for 15 years, and would have been written 15 years ago had he not become involved full-time as a TV broadcaster. Now he is working that job part-time, three to four times and week, and his historian friend Domitrovic began talking with him about the project.

“He said we should talk about the JFK tax cuts. People have forgotten about the JFK tax cuts,” Kudlow said.

The book project took three years of research. “We combed everything, everywhere,” Kudlow said. “Then we’d sit down together six or seven times and spend six or seven hours going over what was going to be in every paragraph. Writing books is hard.”

Selling books is also hard, he said. To that end, promotional opportunities like the one in Wilton are helpful.

“Everyone has been so helpful,” he said about promotions for the new book.

The book, which sells for about about $30, will be available for purchase and signing at the library event, courtesy of Elm Street Books in New Canaan.

It’s a timely book, because there is a new president in office and a new time potentially at hand.

“We may be starting a new era, so this is a good model,” Kudlow said.

Kudlow attended Princeton University and has been a financial commentator for many years. His background includes work as chief economist for Bear Stearns and chief economist in Reagan’s budget office.