Conservative free market activist Stephen Moore called for increased efforts to make the Bush administration’s tax cuts permanent in a speech at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum yesterday.
Moore’s appearance marked the beginning of what Director of the Institute of Politics (IOP) Daniel R. Glickman described as “a concerted effort to attract Republican and conservative speakers.”
Moore is well-known as the head of the Club For Growth—a group which funds conservative free market candidates in elections. He is also a fellow at the Cato Institute and a contributor to the conservative political journal, the National Review.
The Club for Growth has gained notoriety for supporting challengers to incumbents in Republican primaries, particularly in Pennsylvania.
Moore provided a simple explanation for the club’s activities last night.
“We try to find those who don’t like tax cuts and replace them with those who do,” Moore said.
Moore, emphasizing the positive effects of the oft-ridiculed Bush tax cuts, called them “the single best pro-growth tax cut since Reagan.”
He attempted several times to engage the audience of about 100 people, which largely ignored his efforts by not responding to most of his questions.
In an attempt to demonstrate how increased ownership of stocks had created a “mass ownership” society, Moore asked the audience how many owned stocks. Roughly two-thirds of those in attendance raised their hands.
After concluding his remarks, which spanned 35 minutes, Moore engaged in a contentious question and answer exchange, deflecting and answering some withering criticisms of his own views as well as those of Bush.
Though Moore spent the bulk of time defending the Bush administration, he noted how he often felt “ashamed” of being a Republican when witnessing the fiscal irresponsibility of the past several years.
He closed the speech by offering a word of advice to the audience.
“If you take nothing else away from this speech tonight take this: the essence of a good tax policy is a broad base and low rates,” Moore said.