October 20, 2008

Sigh. Another Bush Appointee Joins Camp Obama

This time, it's Ben Bernanke, who endorsed the Obama/Pelosi "Stimulus Plan".

Bernanke's remarks before the House Budget Committee marked his first endorsement of another round of energizing stimulus, something that Democrats on Capitol Hill have been pushing. The Bush administration, however, has been cool to the notion.

"With the economy likely to be weak for several quarters, and with some risk of a protracted slowdown, consideration of a fiscal package by the Congress at this juncture seems appropriate," Bernanke testified.



Well, leave it to the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board to slice like a hammer.

Mr. Bernanke could have begged off -- and would have been wiser to do so -- given how much the Fed has already made itself a political lightning rod with its many Wall Street interventions. He might also have thought twice about endorsing one party's policy preferences a mere two weeks before Election Day given his obligation to preserve the Fed's independence. We can remember when tougher Fed chairmen used to refrain from adjusting interest rates close to an election for fear of seeming to be political; they would never have dreamed of meddling in campaign tax and spending debates.

Perhaps Mr. Bernanke's blunderbuss political intrusion will win him more Democrat friends, and maybe even Mr. Obama's goodwill. To the rest of the world, he has harmed the Fed and made himself less credible.


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