Just read this and contemplate what would happen if Donald Trump actually made good on any of the proposals laid out by his senior economic adviser Stephen Moore (via the Huff Post):
At a private meeting of conservatives in Cleveland this summer, Donald Trump’s senior economic adviser, Stephen Moore, said the candidate planned to pay for his costly proposals by eliminating the departments of Commerce, Energy and Education; lifting all restrictions on mining, drilling and fracking; ending Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs, and offering rust-belt factory workers new jobs on oil rigs and steel mills.
Speaking at the private summer meeting of the Council for National Policy (CNP), a secretive group of powerful conservatives, Moore, a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, also described how Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions had “infiltrated” Trump’s campaign operation, and how Moore and other supply-side economists were working hard to get Trump to be more supportive of free trade.
While the Trump campaign has stated that Moore’s opinion is “one of many”, and he “is speaking on his own behalf,” if this is the standard of intellect in the Trump economic team, America is in very deep shit should he win in November.
Wiping out the departments of Commerce, Energy and Education and giving energy companies the green light to burn the planet to a crisp isn’t an economic policy, it’s an ecological and humanitarian suicide policy. Despite his perceived authority, Moore is not an economist, but an extreme free market devotee wedded to an ideology that no one in serious circles has taken seriously for over a decade. Even the IMF — an organization founded on the principles of neoliberalism — has publicly stated that unfettered market capitalism is no longer relevant as a tool for economic development.
Despite being a Fox News personality, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and Wall St Journal columnist, Moore appears to know absolutely nothing about how real economies work — a fact not lost on other real economists. Here was Paul Krugman on how people like Moore manage to carve out lucrative careers in fields they don’t have any business being in:
Evidently Moore has had a successful career. Why?
Think about Heritage: It’s immensely wealthy, and could surely afford to hire a technically competent right-wing hack. The Wall Street Journal, similarly, could have attracted someone much less likely to trip over his own intellectual shoelaces. Again, the problem isn’t even that Moore got the macroeconomics of recent years all wrong, although he did; it’s the inability to write without making embarrassing mistakes.
So why is he there (and he’s not alone — there are some other incompetent hacks at Heritage)?
I suspect that the incompetence is actually desirable at some level — a smart hack might turn honest, or something, But it’s remarkable.
In other words, Stephen Moore is so dumb he actually believes what he is saying. Because no one with the slightest bit of intelligence could honestly put forward an economic policy that consists of erasing half of the federal government while investing heavily in an industry set to collapse without feeling like a complete fraud.
But then he is working for Donald Trump, so it’s not exactly a huge surprise.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.