The Cleansing Fire
Those are the words of the once-revered Ben Bernanke, giving his outlook for the near-term future of the American and world economies. Strange, isn’t it, how the Fed’s ex-chairman tends to be more honest with us than the present one.
After Alan Greenspan left the position, he wrote a pretty good book decrying the whole existence of the fiat money regime, while Bernanke is carefully distancing himself from the policies of the current Fed.
It’s been generations since we last experienced stagflation on this level, and it has never happened in the context of puffed-up tech giants and financialization of the sort that dominates the planet now.
We are very likely to learn a number of things concerning the truth of the economy. This is because the combination of inflation and recession acts as a cleansing fire, revealing awful things that we previously did not want to face.
Simply put, we are now experiencing an economic crisis that could get worse. Inflation is roaring. The recession most of us already sense could soon become official.
What Are You Going to Do About It?
Many voters are looking to their elected representatives to address the problem. What follows are questions that I would like to pose to any and all candidates for office concerning their views on essential issues related to the economic well-being of Americans.
I was prompted to put them together by a primary debate for a U.S. congressional race in Tennessee at which I was a questioner.
Before pandemic lockdowns, federal spending stood at $5 trillion per annum (five times as high as when Ronald Reagan said the budget was out of control and needed to be slashed). This soared over six months by 82% to $9.1 trillion. The total pulled back a bit to $6 trillion before soaring under Biden to $8 trillion. It seems to have settled back to $5.8 trillion but Congress is now being pushed to more spending.
In the course of 2½ years, the federal debt skyrocketed from $23 trillion to $30.5 trillion, or 32.6% in a mere 28 months. The national debt now stands at 125% of GDP.
All of this spending was approved by Congress.
What About Inflation?
What in your mind bears primary responsibility for the dramatic fall in the purchasing power of the dollar? What if anything can Congress do about it?
Small-business optimism is at a 48-year low. Is it possible to construct policies that seek some kind of redress? What kinds of things can Congress do to make life easier for small businesses?
Do you believe that the Republicans in Congress at the time should admit responsibility for this panicked reaction? Are there conditions that you think would warrant governments stepping in to shut businesses and other institutions in the future?
Today, the power over trade has been given to the U.S. president. Do you believe that Congress should take it back and what effect do you believe that would have on U.S. international relations in the economic realm?
The Deep State
How can Congress go about taking back the power to make policy from the agencies? If agencies need to be cut or abolished, which would you name as part of that list?
It appears to many that these agencies have been captured by the largest players in industry. Do you have opinions on this topic and what Congress can do?
Right now, her preferred sources account for perhaps 10% of U.S. energy production, and even achieving that has required vast government subsidies. What is your view on choice in energy, including nuclear, and how U.S. energy policy should proceed?
Should Congress curb the power of the Fed and take back its role in managing monetary affairs?
I could think of a lot more questions, but these are enough for now. If we could only get some answers.
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