Stephen Moore doesn’t think much of the Midwest.
Other than Chicago, says the conservative writer, the cities in the middle of flyover country are “armpits.”
Moore, who President Donald Trump is considering for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, made the comments at a speech in Illinois a few years ago hosted by the Heartland Institute.
When Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, was made aware of the video of the event, he went ballistic, sending a letter to Moore last week demanding an apology.
“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,” Brown wrote.
The senior senator from Ohio sits on the committee that will have to approve Moore if Trump nominates him for the Fed.
But nevermind that for a moment.
Back to the video.
Standing behind Moore in the 2014 video with a stoic reaction is Travis Brown of St. Louis. The two men were traveling around to conservative enclaves promoting the book they wrote, along with Rex Sinquefield and Art Laffer. The book pitches a Reaganomic fantasy that if all states will simply cut taxes — especially on the rich — and deregulate, economic nirvana will set in.
Why is this important?
Because Brown and Sinquefield are the two men that Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger have entrusted with the future of St. Louis. Sinquefield is financing both the Better Together city-county merger plan that as proposed is mostly a Trojan horse hiding a massive tax cut, and the possible airport privatization plan.
He’s spending $800,000 a month on a bevy of consultants put together by his chief lobbyist, Brown, to try to pry away the city’s top asset so that private investors can reap the benefits for decades.
Their friend, close confidant and co-author, Moore, thinks we live in an armpit.
That’s not all he believes.
Moore isn’t a fan of women. He thinks they should be banned from sporting events. He believes they shouldn’t make as much as men. He thinks college boys should be allowed to do “stupid things,” and “chase skirts” and that women should be just fine with it.
He refused to pay his ex-wife the $300,000 a court ordered him to pay and a judge had to hold him in contempt to force the payment.
Most of these unfortunate details of Moore’s existence will likely keep him from being appointed to the Fed. Never mind that his crackpot economic ideas have been debunked over and over again. But here in the armpit of St. Louis, his buddies are trying to implement his vision, and the region’s elected officials appear to be cheering it on.
When you look at the Better Together proposal, for instance, it’s easy to see Moore’s influence.
Here’s what Moore said about democracy, recently:
“Capitalism is a lot more important than democracy,” he told a documentary filmmaker. “I’m not even a big believer in democracy. I always say that democracy can be two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner.”
In the Better Together proposal, Sinquefield and Brown are the wolves. Voters are the sheep. The original proposal elevated the region’s most scandalous politician — Stenger — to be the first unelected mayor of the merged city and gave him nearly unchecked powers to write the charter. After widespread criticism and an FBI investigation into Stenger emerged, the Better Together folks backed off of that idea, at least somewhat. But they are sticking to the plan that says the merger could become law even if local folks vote against it.
Who needs democracy when the capitalists have an airport to buy in the armpit of America?