Some days you have to ask yourself if somehow, in some way, you have slipped into a dystopian universe. Up is down, inside is outside, big is little, and wrong has suddenly become right. Point in case …
There are two vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and Trump has nominated a man named Stephen Moore to fill one of those vacancies. Now, before I get into Mr. Moore and his qualifications, or lack thereof, remember that the purpose of the Federal Reserve in a nutshell is to ensure a stable economy. *
Federal Reserve board members (there are seven, which includes the Chairman and Vice Chairman) serve a term of fourteen years, and are paid an annual salary of $179,700, with the two at the top receiving $199,700. It is a position of high trust, controlling such things as interest rates, banking regulations, managing inflation and more. Now on to Stephen Moore. First off, he is a great supporter of “supply-side” or “trickle down” economics. Sigh. HOW MANY TIMES do we have to prove that it does not work??? I made this point back in September 2017 with my post It Trickles Up … Not Down! In fact, Trump has proven it himself by giving huge tax cuts to the wealthy, stating that the money they saved in taxes would ‘trickle down’ to the consumer, to the working class. It didn’t. It never has. It never will. In a 2012 paper, Moore wrote …
“Cutting taxes can have a near immediate and permanent impact, which is why we have advised Oklahoma, Kansas and other states to cut their income tax rates if they want the most effective immediate and lasting boost to their states’ economies.”
But wait … there is more NOT to love about Stephen Moore.
For starters, just looking at his affiliations sends up red flags. He is a member of the Editorial Board of The Wall Street Journal, owned by none other than the owner of state television network Fox News, Rupert Murdoch. And Mr. Moore is the Chief Economist at the Heritage Foundation. For those who may not be aware, the Heritage Foundation is an American conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. and geared towards public policy. The foundation took a leading role in the conservative movement during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, whose policies were taken from Heritage’s policy study Mandate for Leadership. The foundation had a powerful say in the staffing of the Trump misfit administration, being largely responsible for the nominations of Scott Pruitt, Betsy DeVos, Mick Mulvaney, Rick Perry, and Jeff Sessions.
In 2011, Mr. Moore divorced his wife, Allison. In 2013, he was found in contempt of court for failing to pay more than $330,000 in spousal support, child support, attorney’s fees and a one-time fee to his ex-wife. Moore had failed to pay six consecutive months of child support — and only a small fraction of the nearly $19,000 a month he had agreed to pay his ex-wife in the divorce settlement. Moore failed to respond to repeated requests from the Virginia court to make payments and did not show up for a deposition in the case. The court ordered him to sell his home to raise money to pay the debt and forced him to set up an automatic bank transfer each month. Ever hear the term “deadbeat dad”? Moore is one.
Mr. Moore currently owes $75,000 in unpaid federal taxes, interest and penalties, according to court documents filed last year. A lien for $75,328.80 from the 2014 tax year was entered against Mr. Moore at the request of the federal government in January 2018. What he owes in back taxes for a single year is more than most of us make in a single year! And he is too sorry to pay the government, when we would be in jail if we fell behind by a tenth that much?
Now, here we have a man who cannot manage his own personal finances, and yet Trump would elevate him to one of the most important positions in the overall economic health of the nation??? You might think that Mr. Moore would hang his head in shame and walk away from the nomination, but think again.
Two days ago, he stated emphatically that he has no intention of stepping aside. “It’s full speed ahead.” And Trump & Co have no intention of withdrawing the nomination, according to Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, who said both he and Trump continue to support Mr. Moore for the Fed’s board of governors.
“I think he’ll make a great governor. We are standing fully behind his candidacy.”
Just as with Trump’s cabinet picks, this one is among the worst possible choices. We have people leading the Departments of Energy, Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who are climate change deniers and have ties to the fossil fuel industry. We have a Secretary of Education who does not believe in public schools. Then there’s Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce, who is the subject of a multi-million-dollar lawsuit claiming he stole from a former partner. And let us not forget Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), who claims that poverty is “a state of mind”. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Sadly for our nation, Mr. Moore’s nomination, just like all those above, and like Brett Kavanaugh who now sits on the Supreme Court despite many disqualifications, will be confirmed by the republican-majority Senate. And We the People have no voice in this. Unless there are actually some republican senators who have a bit of decency left, a bit of honour and integrity, and the cojones to defy Trump, then this misfit, just like all those before him, will be confirmed.
*For an easy-to-understand summation of the Federal Reserve, I recommend this article, The Federal Reserve and What It Does