Trump's Fed pick called Ohio cities 'armpits of America'


Stephen Moore, who Trump tapped for a seat on the Federal Reserve, has an insultingly elitist view of the Midwest.

Stephen Moore, Trump's pick for the Federal Reserve Board, once called Cincinnati and Cleveland the "armpits of America."

At the same event — a 2014 stop on Moore's book tour — he also said: "if you live in the Midwest, where else do you want to live besides Chicago?"

It's a breathtaking bit of elitism and one that Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is right to call Moore out about. Brown, in a letter to Moore, pointed out exactly how offensive his comments were:

You didn’t just insult Cleveland and Cincinnati – you dismissed millions of Americans who work and live in small towns and cities across the industrial heartland, and who have been looked down on and left behind by Washington and Wall Street for decades. 

Moore has quite the checkered past. He cheated on his taxes and refused to pay child support, he wants to ban women from playing basketball, and he thinks AIDS jokes are hilarious. In short, he's yet another example of the Trump administration's utter disinterest in vetting its candidates for important positions.

It's also worth remembering that not only is Moore a reprehensible person, he's also terrible at economics. For the last 12 years, he has co-authored the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) ranking of states based on "economic outlook." It ranks California 47th, even though California's economy is robust by nearly any reasonable measure. But California has regulations, which ALEC and Moore hate, so in their ranking, Utah is the state with the best economic outlook.

Moore does excel at something that conservatives have become adept at: playing the victim. Because his past writings and behavior have received scrutiny, he says the media is "pulling a Kavanaugh against me."

Given that everything the media has reported is simply quoting Moore's past public statements, this is peak victimhood. And given that Trump Supreme Court appointee Brett Kavanaugh was credibly accused of sexual assault, it's yet another boorish, insensitive remark from Moore.

Moore did recently indicate that he'd drop out of the running for the Fed job if he were to become a "political problem" for Republicans. He should be a political problem in that he's woefully unqualified for the Federal Reserve job — but in the Trump era, that's not a disqualification at all.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.