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Senate Republicans Reward Bernanke with New Term at Fed

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Last week, the Republicans in the Senate once again showed that they are a big part of what is wrong with Washington. Twenty-two of them joined forty-eight Democrats in voting for Ben Bernanke for another four year term as Federal Reserve chairman. Do the math. If those twenty-two Republicans had voted against Bernanke he would have been sent packing by a vote of 52-48.

Now, I know the Fed isn’t going anywhere, so someone else probably just as bad as Bernanke would ultimately have been appointed if he had been rejected. But the point to be made here is that Senate Republicans squandered a real opportunity to stand on principle. After all, aren’t they the ones who almost completely stood against Obama’s $800 billion “stimulus” package and continually criticize the Administration for its reckless spending. In comparison, Bernanke’s wheeling and dealing as Fed chair makes what Congress and the President have spent look like pocket change. Under Bernanke the Fed has spent $1.25 trillion just on its program to hold down mortgage rates. And who do the Republicans think printed all that new money and bought all those treasury bonds in order to monetize Obama’s big spending? It was Bernanke’s Fed which currently holds the notes on over $5 trillion of our national debt. Thus, the Republicans can lambast Obama for his absurd appetite to spend, and rightly so, but they supported the man who indirectly makes the deficit spending happen. They are either oblivious to this fact or hypocritical.

Of course, Senate Republicans will justify their support for Bernanke based on the claim that he is the person whose leadership took our economy from the brink of collapse and placed it on stable ground. Naturally, no one can prove that and who is to say that we aren’t headed for an even bigger crash because of his inflationary policies. The big question to ask in refutation of this theory is, if he was so good at handling the crisis how come he didn’t recognize it until it happened? If one were to go back and look at Bernanke’s appearances on news shows from 2005-2007, it is clear that right up until the end of the bubble he denied its existence and claimed the fundamentals of our economy were strong. Isn’t a major responsibility of the Fed to recognize trouble and prevent or alleviate the pain of business cycle downturns? Bernanke was way off on this one and that alone should have cost him his job.

Bernanke has been a complete disaster as Fed chairman. Additionally, it is just a matter of time before his big government monetary policies cause another crisis. Senate Republicans, like Orrin Hatch of Utah and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have always talked a good game about small limited government. Then when they have a real chance to actually vote for it and win they fold like cheap lawn chairs. That is why there is no hope for the current Republican Party to lead us back to the good old days of constitutional, fiscally and monetarily sound government. That is why many Americans are fed up with our political system. The next time Republicans gripe about the Democrats propensity to spend us into oblivion remember it was the man chosen by Bush and approved by Senate Republicans that makes it all possible.

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About Kenn Jacobine

  • Franco

    Kenn,

    Nice opinion piece. And I see your point here………….

    Now, I know the Fed isn’t going anywhere, so someone else probably just as bad as Bernanke would ultimately have been appointed if he had been rejected. But the point to be made here is that Senate Republicans squandered a real opportunity to stand on principle.

    But I think your next point counters your first with more moxie………….

    After all, aren’t they the ones who almost completely stood against Obama’s $800 billion “stimulus” package and continually criticize the Administration for its reckless spending.

    Yes they were!

    This whole thing reminds me of the story about a business man who had two workers in his warehouse. One of the workers was stilling some inventory each month out of the warehouse. The other worker was not, but was afraid the boss might think it was him. So he told his boss about the other working stealing. The boss responded by telling him that he know about the other worker stealing and said he knew what he had in the other worker and could live with it, but if I replace him he would not know what or whom he would get or if he could live with it..

    IMO, I do not see at this time how Republicans or Even Independence can switch horses in the middle of the raging river in such unchared waters rushing around at such a complicated and almost unfathomable depth.

    But I am with you and do love your zest for realing all this in as soon as possible. I have my eyes focused on the next river crossing in November. The closer we get to it the more we will see the white of their eyes and it they do have a real glint of real hope and change. Because there is going to be some and this time it will be more then we usualy get, and for all the right reasons.

    Stay well in Doha, Qatar. And I mean that.

  • Franco

    Kenn, here is something for you to write about.

    Recent Senate Votes

    The Senate passed this resolution that would raise the federal debt limit ceiling by $1.9 trillion to $14.294 trillion.

    On the Joint Resolution
    01/28/2010
    Senate Roll Call No. 14
    111th Congress, 2nd Session

    Agreed to: 60-39

    All Democrats plus voted for it
    All Republicans voted against it.

    Source: Congress Org

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Thanks Franco!

  • Arch Conservative

    They must be afraid of David Rockefeller hiding under their bed at night.

    Hell was created for men like Rockefeller Bernanke and Horiuchi.

  • Baronius

    The debt ceiling vote doesn’t mean much. It was an opportunity for the Republicans to grandstand, but if the vote was close, every single one of them would have changed to “yea”.

    The raising of the debt ceiling is like a fat person buying bigger pants. The problem isn’t the pants. It may be a good, symbolic opportunity to remember the damage that overeating is doing to you, but on a practical level you do need new pants.

    As for Bernanke, the way the Fed and Treasury picked which firms got to live or die would be enough for me to vote against him.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Interesting analogy.

  • jamminsue

    Baronius- your argument is enough even for me, a lifelong liberal!