Stephen Moore criticized the stimulus act for allowing California to use federal stimulus funds to pay the Chinese government to help develop the state's high-speed rail line. But Moore previously stated opposition to provisions that would require federal funds to be spent in the U.S., and during the stimulus debate, the Wall Street Journal editorial board, of which Moore is a member, denounced including such provisions in the legislation.
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From the April 8 edition of Fox News' On the Record with Greta Van Susteren:
VAN SUSTEREN: Why in the world are we using money to hire the Chinese, to get the Chinese technology and the Chinese equipment to build a high-speed rail?
MOORE: I guess I was wrong, Greta, when I said the stimulus bill wasn't creating jobs. It is creating jobs, just not in the U.S., in China. By the way, this isn't the first major project where money has gone to China, we talked a few weeks ago about all the wind turbines that are being built in China, too.
MOORE: I'm not opposed to free trade; if a country can make something cheaper then we can make it there. But here's the problem. The purpose of this federal stimulus money was to create jobs in the United States, right? And so if the money is going overseas, to China or Germany or any of these counties, it's not creating jobs in states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, where they're needed.
MOORE: And also, I think from the point of view, though, of creating jobs -- I mean, I talked to the cab driver coming over here and I just told him about this. People are outraged about this kind of story. They're saying, "Wait a minute, these dollars were supposed to be used to create jobs here in the United States, and that's not happening."
MOORE: If we're going to spend money to stimulate jobs, let's stimulate them here in the U.S., not in China.
Moore: "I'm personally opposed to 'buy America'" provisions
In an April 10, 2009, Wall Street Journal column, Moore wrote:
I'm personally opposed to "buy America" protectionist trade policies, but I've always felt a patriotic duty to purchase American cars. I loathe the United Auto Workers union, but I admire the grit and work ethic of American hard-hat workers -- even if they foolishly fork over part of their paychecks to union bosses. My uncle was brutally treated in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. So my mother ingrained in me at an early age the moral imperative of never buying a Japanese car.
WSJ editorial board opposed including "Buy America" provisions in recovery act
Moore is a member of the WSJ editorial board. According to his Journal bio, "Stephen Moore joined The Wall Street Journal as a member of the editorial board and senior economics writer on May 31, 2005."
Journal: "Steel's 'Buy America' Ploy" is "protectionism that would only hurt American consumers and taxpayers." In a January 8, 2009, editorial headlined "Steel's 'Buy America' Ploy: How to turn depression into recession," the Journal stated that the U.S. steel industry's proposed "Buy America" clause requiring steel purchased with stimulus funds to be made in the U.S. "amounts to protectionism that would only hurt American consumers and taxpayers -- and might kick off a trade war the world economy can't afford."
Journal: "Buy America" provision for manufactured goods "means that taxpayers risk overpaying." In a January 30, 2009, editorial headlined "Protectionism as Stimulus: We need to trade more, not less," the Journal stated that a proposal to require "manufactured goods" purchased with stimulus dollars to be American-made "means that taxpayers risk overpaying for their roads and bridges. And that means capital will be misallocated, fewer projects will be built and the bill will go ever-higher." The Journal added that "increased protectionism didn't stimulate the American economy in 1930 and it won't now."