Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Does Trump Want to Destroy Think Tanks?

For months and months, think tanks were not a target for Donald Trump, but now, some think tanks are fretting after the Trump campaign suggested that a main source of funding for think tanks should be severely limited.  Ironically, the suggestion came from Stephen Moore, a top economic advisor to Trump who happens to work at the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation.

Under Mr. Moore's plan, which calls for higher taxes on rich people who donate to non-profits (i.e., think tanks), many of the very donors who give to his think tank (and many others) will likely reduce their donations to Washington's powerful policy organizations.  After all, Heritage is one of the many think tanks that receives funds from billionaire donors.

Here is more from a recent Hill piece:
Moore said the policy challenge would be writing law that distinguishes between genuine charities, like churches and the Salvation Army, and those that should be subject to taxes.
“The question is: Could you make a distinction between a church, homeless shelter, soup kitchen versus the Brookings Institution?” he said, referring to the nonpartisan think tank. Moore’s employer, the Heritage Foundation, is a conservative think tank.

Our guess is that Moore does not mind shooting himself (and his think tank cohorts) in the foot because if Trump becomes president, he would likely leave think tank land after being given a plum job in the Trump Administration.