Will Fischer & Sasse Vote To Confirm Trump’s Unqualified Nominees To The Federal Reserve?
The Federal Reserve is one of the most powerful (and obscure) institutions in America. This powerful body regulates the country’s money supply and sets interest rates. The Federal Reserve is what one would term an economic U.S. Supreme Court.
In modern history, the Federal Reserve has had both a positive and negative impact on the U.S. economy and people’s lives. During the early 1970s, the Fed went with a so-called “easy money” policy to support Nixon’s 1972 re-election bid. This misguided and politically motivated policy caused double digit inflation in the mid to late 1970s that was stamped out when the Fed raised interest rates as high as 21% between 1979–82. These huge interest rate hikes by the Fed caused the deepest recession since World War II (at the time) and devastated farmers.
During the Bush Administration, Alan Greenspan’s easy money policies helped create a huge real estate bubble that popped with devastating consequences in 2008. The Fed under Ben Bernanke was required to pursue record low interest rates to prevent a depression and lift the country out of a severe recession. Most economists are of the opinion that Bernanke did a good job of handling a very difficult situation.
What that means is that a president’s appointments to the Fed are some of the most important picks he will make. Earlier in his term, Trump replaced Janet Yellen with Jerome Powell as chairman because he believed that Yellen was “too short.” The replacement of Yellen was unnecessary but fortunately Powell has proven to be a competent chairman. It’s a rare good pick from the former TV reality star.
Unfortunately, Trump’s two recent picks for the Fed are terrible choices. Trump has selected Stephen Moore and Herman Cain for fourteen year terms for this influential institution. Both of these nominees are totally unqualified from both a professional and personal perspective for this prestigious post.
Moore is a long time right wing pundit who plays an economist on the pages of various right wing publications like the Washington Times, Wall Street Journal, National Review and The Weekly Standard. He is an ardent supply sider who has been wrong about everything for years. Moore boldly (and incorrectly) predicted — like every Republican — that Bill Clinton’s tax increases on the wealthy would reduce revenues and cause a recession. During the Obama era, Moore prognosticated that the 44th president’s policies would cause hyper-inflation.
In 2012, Moore teamed up with the always wrong Arthur Laffer to put together then Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s tax cuts for the rich. That policy turned out to be a complete disaster. Kansas ran up $1 billion in debt and its economic and job growth lagged behind other midwestern states. As a consequence of Moore’s wrong headed policy, Kansas had to cut spending for Medicaid, roads and education. (Brownback’s successor has since reversed Moore’s disastrous tax cuts.)
Moore is not only a pseudo-economist — he is a tax scofflaw and a dead beat dad. He currently has a $75,000 IRS tax lien against him for unpaid taxes on his 2014 filing. In addition, Moore was held in contempt of court in 2013 on more than $333,000.00 he owed his ex-wife for child support and alimony.
Herman Cain isn’t any better than Moore. When he pursued his presidential bid in 2011–12, Cain ran on his ridiculous 9–9–9 plan. Under this proposal, income taxes, sales taxes and investment taxes would all be 9%. This proposal would have resulted in huge deficits, a big tax cut for the rich and higher taxes for everybody else. Cain even supports a return to the gold standard. It was this antiquated monetary policy that deepened and prolonged the Great Depression between 1929–33 on a worldwide basis.
Cain’s personal peccadillos are as bad as Moore’s. The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO has been credibly accused of sexual harassment by at least four women. It has been reported that at least two confidential settlements were paid out to Cain’s victims. Apparently, a total of $70,000.00 was paid for these two settlements.
It’s pretty obvious that Moore and Cain shouldn’t be anywhere near the Federal Reserve Board. The concern is that they will be Trump toadies and vote to reduce interest rates to boost Trump’s re-election bid. We can’t afford to make that mistake again.
My educated guess is that Sasse and Fischer will vote to confirm both of these nominations. (Both of them did vote in 2017 to confirm Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.) In any event, we should call our two Senators and urge a no vote on these nominations. These may be obscure appointments that don’t get much attention but they are some of the most important picks that a president will make.