I wish to associate myself with just about every word of today’s Wall Street Journal editorial on Rick Perry’s comments on the Fed. It tracks what I have been writing here for some time. As the WSJ wrote, “[N]ow, even as the recovery is supposedly underway, their meager salary increases are being washed away with another burst of commodity inflation caused by near-zero interest rates and quantitative easing. This is what happens when politicians and central bankers try to use monetary policy to compensate for the slow growth caused by bad fiscal and regulatory policies.”
About the only thing I would take issue with is that I think the WSJ went too far to excuse Perry’s outrageous language about Bernanke being “treacherous, or treasonous.” Not only was it way out of line in substance, but it actually detracted from his message by making his central point, which was so worthwhile, seem part and parcel of extremist political rhetoric and thus much more easily dismissable rather than taken seriously. Shame on Perry for such language. The WSJ should have done far more to condemn it.
That said, again, the WSJ is right to have gone beyond Perry’s unfortunate language to the real import of his remarks. By all accounts, Bernanke is a good man. But I think his policy judgments have been disastrous. Perry is right to say so, and I applaud his stance even as I denounce the way he chose to say it.