For the record, I don’t assume that the Federal Reserve chairman can ever know exactly what’s happening with the economy. And for the record, I never assume that anybody else can either.
Yet it was extraordinary to hear Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledge last week that he has “no idea” why our economy is so “fragile.” This is the man who has overseen the lending of more than $3 trillion American taxpayer dollars to foreign banks; the rapid-fire acquisition of the former giant Merrill Lynch by the gargantuan Bank of America; the multi-billion dollar taxpayer bailout of Wall Street; and the $800 billion “economic stimulus bill” from the Congress and the Obama Administration.
And now, this man with immense power over the entire world’s wealth and yet who has never been elected to any public office, has to admit that he has “no idea” why things aren’t going the way they were “supposed to.” As Trisha, a caller to one of my daily talk shows noted to me last Thursday, “We pay these people in Washington waaay too much money for them to simply ‘not know….’”
I appreciate the outrage of my fellow taxpayers over a government that has spent us into oblivion and now concludes that it has “no idea.” But I also think that this moment in time can be a “teachable moment” – if the agents of our government will be taught.
First, think about the “Obama stimulus spending.” I wonder if Mr. Bernanke has any idea how this money was actually allocated. Among the roster of expenditures was one hundred and twenty million of our tax dollars for the hiring of part time workers at senior citizen’s community centers. $87 billion for Medicaid “family planning services” (contraception). And $650 million to “assist” Americans in buying digital TV converter devices. And then there was one of my favorites from the Obama stimulus plan,the $335 million allotted for the “Booty Call” sexually transmitted diseases education program.
Free condoms and converter boxes do not spell “wealth creation.” And we can all imagine what gets stimulated when you participate in the “Booty Call” program - - but it is certainly not the economy.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.