It is bad enough that the Republicans opposed the federal version of Mitt Romney’s health care plan, the continuation of Dubya’s bank bailout, and the (failed) attempt to pass John McCain’s climate bill, but now they are opposing Milton Friedman’s monetary policies. And there doesn’t seem to be any reason they are doing this, except to keep unemployment high so it reflects badly on Obama and the Democrats.
In November, the Fed announced it would purchase $600 billion in US Treasury bonds. The goal is to lower long-term interest rates and jumpstart the economy. Conservatives went nuts, claiming this would lead to hyperinflation, which is a bizarre argument since inflation is at record lows right now and is falling. Republicans even introduced bills in Congress that would require the Fed to concentrate on keeping inflation low and prohibit it from worrying about high unemployment.
So Republicans claim to be worried about inflation, which is not a problem, and want the Fed to ignore unemployment, which is a big problem. Does this make any sense? It does if you are a Republican. Back in August, budget expert Stan Collender gave a prediction, warning the Fed that “with Republican policy makers seeing economic hardship as the path to election glory,” they would be “opposed to any actions taken by the Federal Reserve that would make the economy better.”
The Republicans may not be terrorists, but are they weapons of mass economic destruction?