Raiding the bank

Steven Pearlstein, the Pulitzer Prize winning business columnist for the Washington Post, goes after Republican economic policy today in a piece headlined GOP to jobless: Drop dead.

Republican have been attacking the policies of the U.S. Federal Reserve, specifically promoting the idea of completely restructuring the central bank. But as Pearlstein notes:

If you want a serious discussion about changing the structure or mandate of the fire department, the time to have it is not when the entire squad is out fighting a three-alarm blaze. … Only two weeks after the midterm election, it seems clear that the 2012 campaign has begun. For too many Republicans, the aim is to politicize policy, trash the institutions of government and intimidate anyone who might disagree with their radical ideology.

Meanwhile, Steve Benen, the Political Animal at the Washington Monthly, criticizes the GOP efforts to stop the Fed from pursuing the dual role of balancing inflation and unemployment. He says their logic appears to be: the Fed has intervened in the economy to help prevent massive unemployment, joblessness is still high, so the Fed should no longer try to prevent massive unemployment.

Of course, that makes no sense, but as Benin explains: that’s irrelevant to Republican goals. Theirs is an ideological crusade; what works and who benefits makes no difference whatsoever.

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