Trump campaign economic advisor talks about Republican tax plan, state of the economy


David Lee/The Daily Northwestern

Trump campaign economic advisor Stephen Moore speaks at a College Republicans event. Moore discussed the Republican tax plan and his experiences with the president.

Gabby Birenbaum, Reporter

Economic advisor Stephen Moore spoke about the Republican tax plan, his experiences with President Donald Trump and the state of the economy Wednesday at an event sponsored by College Republicans.

Moore, a New Trier Township native and economics analyst for CNN, served as an economic advisor to Trump during his 2016 campaign. Speaking to a crowd of more than 70 people at Technological Institute, he mixed anecdotes from the campaign trail with a chart-filled presentation.

Moore, who called Trump’s election “the best night of my life,” said though he was initially skeptical of the president, he “loved” the people voting for Trump. As he got to know Trump throughout the campaign, Moore said he found him to be charming, charismatic and likeable. Though he acknowledged that Trump is a “jerk” in public, he said he learned throughout the campaign that he is a “wonderful” person behind closed doors.

Moore focused much of his talk on his bullishness on the economy, which he attributed to the recent Republican tax cuts.

With lower corporate tax rates,corporations are now incentivized to remain in the U.S. and offer higher wages and more jobs, Moore said. The tax cuts have made the country globally competitive again, he added, and will promote higher economic growth than former President Barack Obama ever achieved.

“The tax cut was the biggest thing to happen positively in the U.S. economy since the Reagan tax cuts in ’81,” Moore said.

However, Moore said the government must cut spending, military expenditures and fraud in entitlement programs, if not doing away with social security altogether.

Moore said he hopes college students can lead the charge in demanding changes to social security. Recalling young antiwar protesters burning their draft cards in the Vietnam War era, Moore joked that students should destroy their social security cards in similar fashion.

Still, Moore said he is optimistic about the economy and the merits of capitalism, especially for college-aged students entering the job market soon.

“This is the best time ever to be looking for a job,” Moore said. “Most places you go, they’re desperate for people with skills … as long as you don’t have a sociology or political science or psychology degree.”

Despite continuing to advise the president on economic matters, Moore does not always agree with him or the Republican party, he said. Moore said he believes Trump’s recent tariff decree on steel and aluminum imports — which has pitted the president against congressional Republicans — is an “indefensible” idea that will put steel workers’ jobs in jeopardy.

College Republicans president David Donnelly said Moore’s willingness to stray from the party line can stimulate intellectual conversation.

“I liked that he told a lot of stories about on the campaign with Trump, but he also was willing to disagree with a lot of things,” Donnelly, a McCormick senior, told The Daily. “He showed himself to be a man who believes in his principles and his research.”

Donnelly said College Republicans intentionally chose a speaker whose main focus was economics. The club tries to invite speakers whose areas of expertise are relevant to current events, he said. Knowing that the tax plan, trade and the federal budget would be debated this winter, he added that Moore’s economic focus would be relevant.

Grant Papastefan, vice president of College Republicans, said he was encouraged by the event’s turnout. The Bienen junior, a former Daily columnist, said he was especially proud that he saw attendees who were not Republicans.

Moore’s reputability can help non-Republicans understand, or even respect, the conservative viewpoint, he said.

“We try to bring people who are respectable and who have earned their stripes and earned the opportunity to address the student body at Northwestern,” Papastefan told The Daily.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @birenBOMB