That was an interesting “debate” last night.
I put the word “debate” in quotes because we haven’t had an actual debate in my sentient lifetime. Going all the way back to my youth, all I’ve ever actually seen in our Presidential contests (or any other political contest for that matter) have been gabfests and scripted crap. An actual debate, where the formal rules of such are observed and the moderator flags off anyone who pulls the sort of crap that is usual for these media confabs, has never been held.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at this, given our nation’s inability to focus and expend intellect in a meaningful fashion. After all, the NFL season is about to start and Dancing With the Stars is soon to be on, right?
But enough on the intellectual vapidity of the American Public – we get the government we deserve, and as such we have little room to bitch in this regard. Instead I’d like to focus on some of the actual “meat” in the “debate” last evening – there actually was some, much to my surprise.
Bernnake’s days are numbered as ChairSatan should a Republican win the White House. There was near-unanimous consent that he had to go, with the opinions running the gamut from not renominating him to an outright assertion by Newt that he’d fire him. (Newt either ignored or didn’t care about the fact that the President can’t fire him, although he certainly can bring political pressure and could attempt to foment impeachment proceedings. Whether impeachment is actually available is an open question but I see no particular reason to believe it’s not, given my understanding of the law. The FOMC could also be dissolved or modified by legislation which the President could send up to a receptive House, of course.) The audience reaction to these pronouncements was strong and consistent. Short form: Bernanke ought to be hiding under the desk this morning given the political winds that are blowing; if he isn’t he’s dumber than a box-o-rocks.
My problem with this (well-deserved) anger aimed at Ben is that it’s focused in the wrong place. Give anyone unbridled authority and it’s only a matter of time before it gets abused. I have frequently quipped at Libertarian meetings and over beers with compatriots that you could appoint me Emperor for a couple of hours and I’d fix it all. That suggestion brings instant gasps of terror, and with good reason.
The solution to the Federal Reserve problem is not, as demanded by Ron Paul and others, to “audit The Fed.” That’s another useful idiot suggestion that relies upon the idiocy of the American people to generate faux rage that will never, ever amount to anything.
No, The Federal Reserve Act in fact contains all of the necessary strictures to prevent the games that have been played. What it lacks is the same thing that allows the FDIC to keep insolvent banks running for months or even years under the premise that “it will all be ok”, subsequently resulting in losses of 40% of the asset valuation claimed on the balance sheet just days or weeks before.
That is the lack of an “or else” clause in these so-called “laws.”
Nobody – absolutely nobody – on that stage suggested actually correcting that problem.
That’s easy. If you fix this problem then you fix all the problems – all at once. All the “Uncle Fraud” games disappear immediately as now people go to jail when they pull crap like bailing out European banks in secret and intentionally debasing the currency, or for that matter allowing banks to operate with a known negative capital position – either by adverting one’s eyes or active cooperation in book-cooking (as is alleged to have happened with IndyMac.)
So why not do it?
That’s simple: Every single one of the crooks standing on the podium last night – including so-called Dr. Paul – has profited tremendously in their political life by not having the threat of an indictment hanging over their head when, not if, they ignore and twist laws to their own ends.
And we, the people, sit for it.
Oh yeah, Dancing With The Stars is on again… never mind.