Committee to Unleash Prosperity

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Committee to Unleash Prosperity is a Maryland-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit co-founded by ALEC economists Arthur B. Laffer and Stephen Moore that has been tax exempt since 2016.[1]

Committee to Unleash Prosperity supports Supply-side economics, claiming "Supply-Side is not, as defamed by its detractors, 'trickle-down,' enacting big economic advantages, such as tax cuts, for the rich while workers get scraps. It is 'across-the-board.'"[2]

The organization also claims "there are five major factors needed to 'unleash prosperity' and thereby, achieve 'universal opulence.'":[2]

  • Stable money
  • Low, flat tax
  • Repeal onerous regulations
  • Low or no tariffs
  • Rein in spending

News and Controversies

Politics Over Pensions Report

In May of 2023, the Committee to Unleash Prosperity released a report titled "Politics Over Pensions: The First Annual Report Card on Investment Fund Managers and Proxy Voting Behavior." [3] The report claims that companies were "foregoing billions of dollars in shareholder returns" to comply with "woke" ESG (environmental, social, and governance). CUP claims that proxy votes were used to support proposals that violated major investment firms' fiduciary duties to their clients. Some of the supported recommendations, which CUP claims caused losses in funds for clients, are racial equity audits and reports on pay gaps by sex and race. The report fails to address how these measures work to address systemic racism and sexism within companies.

Co-founder Stephen Moore's Failed Bid for Trump's Economic Advisor

In May of 2019, CUP co-Founder Stephen Moore withdrew his bid to be appointed to the Federal Reserve Board. Moore drew fire because of his "economic views, a messy divorce, a $75,000 IRS income tax lien, and past statements that belittled women."[4]

Annual Rich State Poor State Report

Co-Founders of CUP, Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore, release an annual ranking of states called "Rich States, Poor States." The report studies factors across 15 policy variables, including "the highest marginal tax rates on households and businesses, the progressivity of the income tax system, burden of all other taxes, the presence of an inherence tax, along with recent tax policy changes (efforts to reduce taxes), size of the debt, number of government workers per 10,000 residents, tort environment, workers compensation rates and state minimum wage and a tax or expenditure limit." [5] The reports are often criticized for their lack of studies of fundamental factors that influence the wealth of states such as unemployment. Michael J. Hciks writes, "It isn't just that the Rich States, Poor States rankings don't predict economic growth as claimed. Instead, doing better in these measures actively worsens state economic performance." [5]

Covid-19 Denial and Misinformation

Throughout the pandemic, the Committee to Unleash Prosperity made numerous, now proven false, statements regarding the pandemic. [6] the CPU promoted numerous studies nationwide using inaccurate data.

In April of 2023, CUP released an article claiming that "Even in hospitals, mask mandates had little to no effect," citing a study out of the UK studying a single hospital. [7] While this is an interesting case study, overwhelming evidence supports the claim that masks work to protect the public. Looking at Stanford Medicine and Yale University, the two universities conducted a large-scale study over multiple hospitals that concluded that "wearing a surgical face mask over the mouth and nose is an effective way to reduce the occurrence of COVID-19 in community settings." [8]

Co-Founder Larry Kudlow Racist and Sexist Remarks

In July of 2021, a suit came forward claiming that Kudlow had made numerous racist and sexist remarks to his staff while working at Fox Business Network. Some of the remarks [9] alleged in the lawsuit include Kudlow making "inappropriate comments about women and minority groups during phone conferences, saying that he would like to have “a three-way” with anchor Sandra Smith and that the reporter Susan Li had a “nice way about her” and grunted."

He also is noted for making several racist comments about Congressman Byron Donalds, who was set to appear on Kudlow's show before his appearance was canceled day of.

Co-Founder Stephen Moore Comments

Stephen Moore, co-founder of Committee to Unleash Prosperity, has a track record of making comments [10] "that disparage women and are dismissive of gender equity." He has also made other statements, including supporting the removal of child labor laws, mocking trans athletes, making dismissive comments about those with AIDS, and "suggested that closing the gender wage gap would destroy family stability in America."

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

Committee to Unleash Prosperity's co-founder Arthur B. Laffer is a member of ALEC's Board of Scholars and its co-founder Stephen Moore is a member of ALEC's Private Enterprise Advisory Council.[11][12][13]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site.

Ties to the Council for National Policy

Committee to Unleash Prosperity board member Cleta Mitchell is a Board of Governors member of the Council for National Policy. Committee to Unleash Prosperity member Edwin J. Feulner was a member of Council for National Policy as of September 2020.

Council for National Policy

The Council for National Policy (CNP) is a secretive, Christian Right organization of funders and activists founded in 1981 by activist Morton Blackwell, commentator Paul Weyrich, direct-mail pioneer Richard Viguerie, right-wing activist Phyllis Schlafly and Left Behind author Tim LaHaye. Anne Nelson's book about CNP, Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right, describes how the organization connects "the manpower and media of the Christian right with the finances of Western plutocrats and the strategy of right-wing Republican political operatives.”

CNP membership as of September 2020 is available here.

Ties to the Koch Brothers

Phil Kerpen, a Principal of Committee to Unleash Prosperity, was the vice president of Americans for Prosperity, the right-wing political advocacy group founded by the Koch Brothers in 2003.

Koch Wiki

Charles Koch is the right-wing billionaire owner of Koch Industries. As one of the richest people in the world, he is a key funder of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on Charles Koch and his late brother David include: Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity, Stand Together Chamber of Commerce, Stand Together, Koch Family Foundations, Koch Universities, and I360.

Ties to the State Policy Network

Members and employees of Committee to Unleash Prosperity have ties to several associate and affiliate members of the State Policy Network, a group of right-wing think tanks and other politically-active nonprofits. Additionally, SPN associate member DonorsTrust contributed $260,000 to Committee to Unleash Prosperity from 2018-2019.

SPN Affiliate Members

SPN Associate Members

SPN is a web of right-wing “think tanks” and tax-exempt organizations in 48 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom. As of June 2024, SPN's membership totals 167. Today's SPN is the tip of the spear of far-right, nationally funded policy agenda in the states that undergirds extremists in the Republican Party. SPN Executive Director Tracie Sharp told the Wall Street Journal in 2017 that the revenue of the combined groups was some $80 million, but a 2022 analysis of SPN's main members IRS filings by the Center for Media and Democracy shows that the combined revenue is over $152 million.[14] Although SPN's member organizations claim to be nonpartisan and independent, the Center for Media and Democracy's in-depth investigation, "EXPOSED: The State Policy Network -- The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government," reveals that SPN and its member think tanks are major drivers of the right-wing, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-backed corporate agenda in state houses nationwide, with deep ties to the Koch brothers and the national right-wing network of funders.[15]

In response to CMD's report, SPN Executive Director Tracie Sharp told national and statehouse reporters that SPN affiliates are "fiercely independent." Later the same week, however, The New Yorker's Jane Mayer caught Sharp in a contradiction. In her article, "Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?," the Pulitzer-nominated reporter revealed that, in a recent meeting behind closed doors with the heads of SPN affiliates around the country, Sharp "compared the organization’s model to that of the giant global chain IKEA." She reportedly said that SPN "would provide 'the raw materials,' along with the 'services' needed to assemble the products. Rather than acting like passive customers who buy finished products, she wanted each state group to show the enterprise and creativity needed to assemble the parts in their home states. 'Pick what you need,' she said, 'and customize it for what works best for you.'" Not only that, but Sharp "also acknowledged privately to the members that the organization's often anonymous donors frequently shape the agenda. 'The grants are driven by donor intent,' she told the gathered think-tank heads. She added that, often, 'the donors have a very specific idea of what they want to happen.'"[16]

A set of coordinated fundraising proposals obtained and released by The Guardian in early December 2013 confirm many of these SPN members' intent to change state laws and policies, referring to "advancing model legislation" and "candidate briefings." These activities "arguably cross the line into lobbying," The Guardian notes.[17]


Members with Ties to Other Organizations

As of May 2021, Committee to Unleash Prosperity members have worked for, served on the board of, been a member of, written for, and/or studied at organizations including[18]:

Members Organizations
Adele Malpass
Alexandra Preate
Andrew F. Puzder
Avik Roy
Betsy McCaughey
David Bahnsen
Deroy Murdock
Edwin J. Feulner
Georgette Mosbacher
Harold Hamm
J. Kenneth Blackwell
John Catsimatidis, Jr.
Peter J. Ferrara
Ralph Benko
Rex Sinquefield
Rich Lowry
Roger Hertog
Richard W. Rahn

Other Members

  • Andrea Catsimatidis
  • Dan Mitchell
  • David Bahnsen
  • David Mullins
  • David Webb
  • James Kemp
  • John Catsimatidis, Sr.
  • Lewis E. Lehrman
  • Liz Peek
  • Margo Catsimatidis
  • Mary Ann Mullins
  • Richard Breeden
  • Steve Elieff
  • Travis H. Brown


The Committee to Unleash Prosperity is not required to disclose its funders but major foundation supporters can be found through their IRS filings. Here are some known contributors:

Additionally, the Gogo Foundation contributed $12,000 to the FreedomWorks Foundation "to support the Committee to Unleash Prosperity" in 2016.

Core Financials


  • Total Revenue: $4,283,191
  • Total Expenses: $1,656,322
  • Net Assets: $5,632,785


  • Total Revenue: $3,538,123
  • Total Expenses: $1,374,513
  • Net Assets: $3,005,916


  • Total Revenue: $1,633,616
  • Total Expenses: $1,005,152
  • Net Assets: $842,306


  • Total Revenue: $403,337
  • Total Expenses: $407,954
  • Net Assets: $213,842


  • Total Revenue: $926,082
  • Total Expenses: $707.623
  • Net Assets: $218,459



As of May 2023:[23]

Board of Directors

As of March 2022:[20]

  • Stephen Moore, Chairman
  • Phil Kerpen, President
  • Jonathan Decke, Executive Director
  • Anne Moore, Treasurer

Former Directors

Former Personnel

Contact Information

Committee to Unleash Prosperity
1155 15th St. NW, Ste 900
Washington, DC 20005

EIN: 47-3514328
Phone: (202) 577-9950

Articles and Resources

IRS Form 990 Filings




Related SourceWatch

External Articles


  1. Guidestar, Committee to Unleash Prosperity, organizational website, accessed May 20, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Committee to Unleash Prosperity, Our Mission, organizational website, accessed May 20, 2021.
  3. CUP Politics Over Pensions, [1], organizational website, accessed May 19, 2023.
  4. CNBC Moore Withdraws, [2], organizational website, accessed May 19, 2023.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Daily Journal Rich States, poor States, [3], organizational website, accessed May 28, 2023.
  6. desmog, [4], organizational website, accessed May 28, 2023.
  7. UK Study,[5], Hospital Study, accessed May 28, 2023.
  8. Stanford Medicine Study,[6], Hospital Study, accessed May 28, 2023.
  9. Yahoo News, [7], organizational website, accessed May 28, 2023.
  10. Washington Post, [8], organizational website, accessed May 18, 2023.
  11. Dan Reynolds, Dr. Arthur B. Laffer and Stephen Moore, "Sneak Peek: Committee to Unleash Prosperity Offers COVID-19 Responses", ALEC: Economic Development, March 21, 2020, accessed May 20, 2021.
  12. ALEC, Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, organizational website, accessed May 20, 2021.
  13. ALEC, Stephen Moore, organizational website, accessed May 20, 2021.
  14. David Armiak, State Policy Network and Affiliates Raises $152 Million Annually to Push Right-Wing Policies, ExposedbyCMD, September 30, 2022.
  15. Rebekah Wilce, Center for Media and Democracy, EXPOSED: The State Policy Network -- The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
  16. Jane Mayer, Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?, The New Yorker, November 15, 2013.
  17. Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax, The Guardian, December 5, 2013.
  18. CUP Members, [9], organizational website, accessed May 28, 2023.
  19. John L. Micek, "Meet the Pa. woman who's Steve Bannon's 'shadow press secretary': Friday Morning Coffee", PennLive, July 28, 2017, accessed May 17, 2021.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Committee to Unleash Prosperity, 2021 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, March 29, 2022.
  21. Committee to Unleash Prosperity, 2019 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, June 23, 2020.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Committee to Unleash Prosperity, 2018 IRS Form 990, organizational tax filing, October 8, 2019.
  23. Committee to Unleash Prosperity, Our Principals, organizational website, accessed May 18, 2023.