Trump wants to put Stephen Moore on the Federal Reserve Board, a once hallowed institution that normally has people on it with the utmost experience and expertise in economics and the monetary policy of the United States. Trump, on the other hand, wants this media gadfly and political hack there. Ill-suited and eminently unqualified, more details are emerging from just-released divorce filings and tax issues that point to what can charitably be called "character issues." Stephen Moore is what is colloquially known as a scumbag.
Stephen Moore, President Trump’s planned nominee for the Federal Reserve Board, was found in contempt of court in 2013 for failing to pay his ex-wife more than $330,000 in alimony and child support, court documents show.
A court in Fairfax County, Va., ordered Stephen Moore to sell his home in order to pay his ex-wife, Allison Moore, the money he legally owed her but had failed to pay for months. Stephen Moore ended up paying $217,000, although only after the court sent several police officers, two realtors and a locksmith to his home to change the locks and prepare the property for sale, records show.
Allison Moore told the court the payment was enough that she no longer wanted to force her ex-husband to sell the home.
Stephen and Allison Moore, who have three children together, were married for two decades before divorcing in 2011. Allison Moore began divorce proceedings in 2010, and her divorce complaint said her then-husband opened a Match.com account and had a mistress.
The contempt of court was first reported by the Guardian. Allison Moore then petitioned to seal the records. The divorce records were unsealed Friday after an appeal by The Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian.
Stephen Moore appeared on TV and radio shows this week accusing the media of trying to derail his nomination by dredging up a messy divorce and a $75,000 tax lien against him stemming from an error on his 2014 tax return.
A few days ago, Steve Benen at summed it up best, stating that nominating the woefully unqualified Stephen Moore shows that Trump's nominees are getting worse, not better.
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All of which suggests Trump, by choosing Moore for the Fed board, is actually regressing.
But even putting that aside, Stephen Moore isn’t just another unfortunate selection for the amateur president. He is a uniquely ridiculous choice – quite possibly the least defensible of the Trump presidency to date.
To say it’s difficult to know where to start with Moore’s c.v. is to be quite literal. It matters, obviously, that he’s not an economist and knows very little about what the Federal Reserve does. But it also matters that Moore has been wrong about practically everything for many years. It matters that he appears to be a Trump sycophant. It matters that Moore has had a hand in some spectacular economic failures. It matters that Moore’s economic opinions tend to echo Republican talking points while “flying in the face of economic theory.”
It matters that Moore has a reputation for misstating basic factual details. It matters that his economic views tend to vary based on the party of the president at the time. It matters that the White House has made the finance industry nervous with this nomination. It matters that actual economists have been apoplectic about Trump’s selection of Moore, (One scholar argued, “This is truly an appalling appointment. An ideologue, charlatan, and hack. Frankly so bad the putatively serious economists in Trump administration should resign as matter of honor.”)
It matters that Moore has embarrassed himself on television over and over again. It matters that Moore, at the height of the Great Recession, turned to “Atlas Shrugged” as an economic guide. It matters that Moore’s own finances are a mess – why the White House refuses to vet its nominees in advance is a mystery – owing $75,000 in unpaid federal taxes, interest, and penalties.
Slate’s struck me as notable: “Stephen Moore is a living embodiment of the sucking intellectual void at the core of conservative economics, an inept pundit who has spent his career evangelizing the supply-side dogma that tax cuts pay for themselves while shilling for Republican officeholders, all from well-paid perches at think tanks and in the media.”
Trump has made some bad nominations, but this one belongs in its own category. Even Senate Republicans should recognize that the president has gone too far this time – but they probably won’t.