Trump is naming the nation’s worst economist to the Federal Reserve

Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

I don’t have a degree in economics, but I do know that Stephen Moore -- announced today as President Donald Trump’s pick to fill a seat on the Federal Reserve Board -- is an odious hack.

Moore, of late a CNN senior economic analyst and Heritage Foundation apparatchik, has spent his career using lofty platforms at media outlets and right-wing think tanks to promote whatever the Republican Party’s line of the day might be on economic policy issues. He is the latest in a long line of TV news pundits to catch the president’s eye and garner a nomination to a powerful federal post.

Trump’s claim that Moore is “very respected” is, as is typical for this president, a lie. Moore is widely known for being sloppy and dishonest, the kind of shill who spurs a newspaper to promise not to publish his work anymore after needing to append a lengthy correction to one of his op-eds.

Moore is also a pure partisan, with his economic opinions following from what benefits his party. When Barack Obama was in the White House, that meant calling for tight monetary policy even though that would hurt economic growth; with Trump in the White House, it has meant fervent demands for loose monetary policy, which he says would improve economic growth.

But for Trump, Moore’s biggest flaw is a feature, not a bug.

You can count on Moore to support the Fed taking all available actions to keep the economy booming in order to help Trump get re-elected. And in the event that Trump loses and a Democrat takes the White House, you can expect him to immediately turn on the dime and claim that the economy needs to be slowed down to prevent inflation. Economic indicators will mean nothing to Moore; only raw political power will matter to him.

Let us not forget CNN’s role in this farce. The news network whose tagline is “Facts First” thought Moore’s partisan commentary was so valuable that the network lured him away from his Fox News post after Trump’s election. Moore’s reputation as a hack had been cemented long before CNN hired him, and the network didn’t care.

This is par for the course for CNN and its president, Jeff Zucker, who were so enamored of providing on-air “balance” that they hired a team of pro-Trump shills and grifters to fill the network’s green rooms. Rather than providing its viewers with information, CNN has preferred pugilistic battles, letting presidential propagandists duke it out with more credible voices.

And now the president has plucked one of those gladiators from the ring and wants to put him on the Fed’s board.