Why are our Democratic House and Senate representatives acting like Ben Bernanke is doing enough to help the economy? Why aren’t they angrier at him than the Republicans are?
The Fed has a dual mandate to maintain full employment and price stability. Right now inflation is very low, and unemployment is very high. The Fed clearly is not doing its job on the employment side, and Democrats should be very upset about this. We should not be hearing this kind of deference to Bernanke from Democratic members of Congress, who should really know better:
Other Republicans cautioned that an expansion of the Fed’s existing efforts could deepen the nation’s financial challenges by postponing a necessary reckoning and eventually accelerating the pace of inflation.
Democrats made no similar effort to convince Mr. Bernanke that he should take additional action. They congratulated the Fed chairman in the manner of people confident that they are speaking with an ally.
“I want to thank you for your steadfast commitment to taking action as you deem appropriate,” said Representative Michael E. Capuano, Democrat of Massachusetts. “Thank you for not giving up.”
Representative John Carney, Democrat of Delaware, went one step further.
“The Fed is doing everything it can to address the unemployment part of your mandate, is that correct?” he asked Mr. Bernanke.
Mr. Bernanke, momentarily startled, responded that the Fed could do more, and was considering whether it should.
(Thanks: Binyamin Appelbaum)