Stephen Moore seems to have quite a bit of personal money trouble to deal with.
It's no secret that Trump's pick for the Federal Reserve Board is dangerously underqualified for the job. It turns out he's also really, really bad at paying his debts — including those to the federal government.
Of course, the tax lien is everyone's fault but his own. His wife told Bloomberg News that back in 2014, Moore inadvertently tried to deduct both alimony and child-support payments to his ex-wife, but only the former are deductible. According to Moore, that meant he ended up owing $6,000 more in taxes than he paid. Also according to Moore, the error was entirely the fault of his accountant.
Setting aside the hope that someone who is about to help helm of one of the world's largest economies would know basic American tax principles, it is confusing how Moore got from owing $6,000 to nearly ten times that amount.
First, his wife says that he moved, so he never got any notifications about the audit. Usually, people keep on top of things like their past taxes and possible audits, but not Moore.
Then, somehow, over the years the amount ballooned until the $75,000 lien was filed in 2018. Moore also says that he's been trying to resolve this issue for years, including overpaying his taxes by $50,000 one year, but has not heard from the IRS in two years.
It doesn't quite seem to add up. And it's also a nice story that shifts blame to a faceless bureaucracy rather than Moore. Too bad it doesn't explain his other money woes. That alimony and child support he was so eager to double-deduct in 2014? Turns out as recently as 2012, he wasn't even bothering to pay either of those to his ex-wife.
In fact, Moore dragged his feet for so long that he got reprimanded by a judge for not paying over $300,000 in alimony, child support, and other money he owed pursuant to the divorce settlement. Even after the reprimand, he refused to pay, so the judge ordered his house be sold in 2013 to cover the debt. Moore was only able to keep the house after his ex-wife stepped in and said he'd paid two-thirds of the sums he owed her.
Moore doesn't even understand what his job at the Fed will be or how to do it. He willfully ignores hundreds of thousands of dollars of personal debts, all the while moralizing about people who dare to need extravagant things like sick time.
What Moore is good at, though, is praising Donald Trump. He wrote an entire book fawning about Trump's economic policies. In Trump's world, you don't need qualifications. You just need to be someone who thinks Donald Trump is great.
And apparently, it also doesn't hurt to also be a tax cheat and a child support deadbeat.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.