WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – is demanding an apology and public retraction from expected FED nominee Stephen Moore after video surfaced of Moore referring to Cincinnati, Cleveland and other cities across the Midwest as the “armpits of America” (WATCH 46:00). Brown said Moore’s disdain for millions of Americans who live and work across the Midwest, along with his history of support for policies that hurt working people, should disqualify him from serving on the Federal Reserve Board. 

Moore has been under fire repeatedly in recent weeks for his comments and writings, including reports out this week from the New York Times about sexist writings.  Moore made the comments disparaging the Midwest at an event put on by a libertarian organization to help sell his book in 2014. In March, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Stephen Moore to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Cleveland is home to one of the twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks; one of the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank branches is located in Cincinnati. If nominated and confirmed, Moore would work with the Federal Reserve Bank Presidents to set monetary policy.

“That view should be disqualifying for the critical role of Governor of the Federal Reserve Board. 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. As a public servant, your job would be to fight for these Americans – something you cannot do that when you don’t know the first thing about the places where they live,” Brown wrote.

“. . . Across the Industrial Heartland, tens of millions of Americans are raising families, serving in our military, powering our companies, and contributing to our country. How dare you demean them and their work.  

“Unfortunately, it’s not just your words that make your disdain for the American people clear. You have a long history of supporting policies that have directly contributed to the challenges faced by the millions of Americans in these towns and cities. Your positions on the economy, tax cuts for the wealthy, healthcare, financial regulation, and farm policy show that you don’t understand the ongoing challenges these communities face and the policies that would actually help them.” 

Read full letter here:

 

April 23, 2019

Stephen Moore

Distinguished Fellow

Project for Economic Growth

Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity

The Heritage Foundation

214 Massachusetts Ave NE

Washington DC 20002-4999

 

Dear Mr. Moore: 

As a Clevelander and lifelong Ohioan, I’m offended and troubled by comments you made at a Heartland Institute book discussion event on August 14, 2014. When asked a question about the debt issues Chicago faced at the time, you replied: 

If you want to live in the Midwest where else do you want to live besides Chicago? You don’t want to live in Cincinnati or Cleveland or these armpits of America like that. You want to live in Chicago.

 That view should be disqualifying for the critical role of Governor of the Federal Reserve Board. 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. As a public servant, your job would be to fight for these Americans – something you cannot do when you don’t know the first thing about the places where they live. 

If you had bothered to learn about the great city I call home, you would have discovered that Cleveland is home to the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square, some of the greatest health care facilities in the world, the NASA-designated Great Lakes Science Center, and one of the greatest art museums in the country, the Cleveland Museum of Art. We’re the home of rock and roll and storied professional sports teams. 

Cincinnati boasts one of the fastest growing economies in the Midwest, historic architecture, and Fortune 500 companies like Procter & Gamble, Kroger, and GE Aviation. It’s home to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation, a nationally ranked conservatory, and recently added a Major League Soccer team. Cincinnati was a refuge for slaves escaping bondage in the South, and it’s the birthplace of professional baseball and Reform Judaism in the United States. 

And those are just the cities you singled out. Across the Industrial Heartland, tens of millions of Americans are raising families, serving in our military, powering our companies, and contributing to our country. How dare you demean them and their work.  

Unfortunately, it’s not just your words that make your disdain for the American people clear. You have a long history of supporting policies that have directly contributed to the challenges faced by the millions of Americans in these towns and cities. Your positions on the economy, tax cuts for the wealthy, healthcare, financial regulation, and farm policy show that you don’t understand the ongoing challenges these communities face and the policies that would actually help them.      

If nominated and confirmed, it would be your job to carefully consider monetary and regulatory policies that support communities throughout the country—even those you apparently consider beneath you. Based on your bias against communities across the heartland of our country, it’s clear that you lack the judgment to make important decisions in their best interest. To better understand how you will conduct yourself if nominated and confirmed as a Governor of the Federal Reserve Board, please answer the following questions: 

Why did you say that Cincinnati and Cleveland are the armpit of America? Please provide a list of other towns in the Midwest and the rest of the country that you believe also match the description of “the armpit of America.”  If nominated and confirmed, will you make decisions regarding monetary and regulatory policy based on economic data? How will you consider that data?  Will you make decisions that benefit all Americans including those that live in small towns and cities in the Midwest not just the President? In addition, on behalf of the people of Ohio, the Midwest, and every community that has been looked down on and disparaged by Washington and Wall Street, I demand an apology and I demand that you publicly retract your statement. 

Sincerely,

 

     Sherrod Brown

     Ranking Member

 

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