Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Stephen Moore

President Donald Trump said Friday he will nominate right-wing commentator Stephen Moore to the Federal Reserve board. (Photo: CBN)

'Like Nominating Dr. Phil to Run CDC': Alarm Bells as Trump Nominates Right-Wing Sycophant Stephen Moore to Federal Reserve

Concerned economic and political commentators decried Moore as "a famous idiot" who "has proved deeply impervious to facts."

Jessica Corbett

Economists and progressive experts responded with exasperation and unease on Friday after President Donald Trump said he will nominate right-wing commentator Stephen Moore to the Federal Reserve, the gatekeeper of the nation's economy.

"The thing that's so unsettling about Moore for the Fed is that—while we all have our gripes—the Fed remains one of the last highly functional institutions left around here."
—Jared Bernstein, CBPP

"I will be nominating Mr. Moore for the Fed. You know who I'm talking about," Trump told reporters while arriving in Florida for the weekend. "He's going to be great on the Fed."

Whispers that Moore, a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation who advised Trump's 2016 campaign, might join the central bank had been circulating online since late Thursday. In a tweet on Friday, the president called him "a very respected Economist."

Concerned economic and political commentators decried Moore as "a famous idiot" who "has proved deeply impervious to facts."

Several critics also pointed out that Moore was among the "principal architects of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback's massive tax cuts, and their predictions that those tax cuts would spur an 'immediate' Kansas economic boom have proved strikingly inaccurate."

As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a progressive think tank, explained in a 2016 blog post, "the Kansas tax cut package has had a deleterious impact on the state's financial stability and the provision of critical services." Rather than acknowledging that impact, Moore:

  • Substantially backpedaled from the claim that state tax cuts have a "near immediate" positive impact on state economic growth;
  • Doubled-down on his tax policy recommendations;
  • Used inaccurate data to justify the tax cut; and
  • Continued to selectively and misleadingly cite data to support his claim that the tax cut is leading to improved economic performance in Kansas.

Chye-Ching Huang, CBPP's director of federal fiscal policy, shared the post on Twitter:

As New York Times economic columnist Paul Krugman put it on Friday, linking to the CBPP post, "He made a bad prediction, which happens—but refused to learn from the error, falsified facts, and doubled down on his doctrine."

Others noted Moore's support for the tax overhaul Republicans pushed through Congress at the end of 2017, which critics often call the Trump or GOP "tax scam."

The watchdog group Common Cause, in a series of tweets, detailed Moore's ties to the Koch Brothers, fossil fuel billionaires infamous for funding right-wing politicians and organizations:

If Moore is confirmed by the GOP-controlled Senate, he will fill one of two current vacancies on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

"The thing that's so unsettling about Moore for the Fed is that—while we all have our gripes—the Fed remains one of the last highly functional institutions left around here," tweeted CBPP senior fellow Jared Bernstein. "One misguided pick won't change that, but it will chip away at it."

Washington Post economics correspondent Heather Long highlighted that if Moore is approved by lawmakers, he could serve up to 14 years on the board. Long called Moore "Trump's most political appointment to the Fed yet."

While it was a bold and blatantly political move, Trump's nomination of Moore didn't seem to shock some who have observed the president's tendency to surround himself with sycophants.

As the Los Angeles Times reported Friday:

Moore co-wrote an opinion article in the Wall Street Journal last week titled, "​The Fed is a Threat to Growth," which blamed recent interest rate hikes by the central bank for slowing U.S. economic growth and causing "wild swings in the stock market."

The criticism echoed Trump's unprecedented public pressure campaign on Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell to stop slowly increasing a key interest rate. ​​​​​​

"Moore's direct criticism of Powell surely scored points with Trump," said Capital Alpha Partners, a Washington strategic research firm, in a report Friday.

Noting that Moore has echoed Trump's attacks on Powell, Kevin Drum wrote for Mother Jones, "It's impossible to flatter Donald Trump so much that he figures out what you're doing, and sure enough, Moore's willingness to abase himself to Trump's beliefs has earned him a big promotion."

Denouncing Moore as a "hack," Drum said, "This is about like nominating Dr. Phil to run the CDC."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

One Year In, Biden Fails to Boost C- Grade on Environment

The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund assessment indicates the administration's action to deliver on environmental promises "desperately needs improvement."

Jessica Corbett ·


'A No-Brainer': Lawmakers Urge Pelosi to Hold Vote on Stock Trading Ban

"Perhaps this means some of our colleagues will miss out on lucrative investment opportunities," said House members in a bipartisan letter. "We don't care."

Jessica Corbett ·


Virginia Schools Sue Youngkin Mandate Making Masks Optional

The Republican governor wants to allow parents to decide whether their children should wear masks to school to mitigate Covid-19 transmission—guidance at least 58 school districts have no plans to follow.

Julia Conley ·


US Puts Troops on Standby as War Tensions Over Ukraine Mount

The U.K. threatens "lightning war" as military forces mobilize in eastern Europe.

Andrea Germanos ·


Advocacy Group Urges Pfizer to Combat Paxlovid Inequality

"Help end the pandemic this year around the world," one advocate told Pfizer. "Not just in a handful of rich countries."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo