Tag Archives: Republican leadership

Congressional leadership: not a clue

The 'gang' of four

David Frum was George W. Bush’s speechwriter mostly on economic issues. (He probably should have stayed in his comfort zone because he also authored the phrase ‘axis of evil’ about which enough said.)

Lately, he’s become a frequent critic of the rhetoric of not only the Tea Party but of Republicans in Congress. To wit: John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor and John Kyl, the Republican leadership in Congress, wrote a letter yesterday to Ben Bernanke.

Frum:

I’m not shocked by much any more, but I am shocked by this: the leaders of one of the great parties in Congress calling on the Federal Reserve to tighten money in the throes of the most prolonged downturn since the Great Depression.

One line in the letter caught my eye as summing up the unreality of the Republican leaders’ position:

“We have serious concerns that further intervention by the Federal Reserve could exacerbate current problems or further harm the U.S. economy. Such steps may erode the already weakened U.S. dollar or promote more borrowing by overleveraged consumers.”

Are they serious? We are living through the most rapid deleveraging of the American consumer since the 1930s.

. . . if you’ve convinced yourself that Obama is the Second Coming of Malcolm X, Trotsky, and the all-conquering Caliph Omar all in one, then perhaps capsizing the US economy and plunging your fellow-citizens deeper into misery will seem a price worth paying to rid the country of him.

But on any realistic assessment of the problems faced by Americans – and not just would-be Republican office-holders – [the problem] is the recession, not the presidency.