Does Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner favor replacing the U.S. dollar with a global currency or doesn't he? Or, as Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., pointedly asked on Sean Hannity's program, "Which Tim Geithner do we believe?"
Let's review the soundbites of the week of March 23.
On Monday, China and Russia urged the world to replace the U.S. dollar as the world's standard with a new currency. This anti-American notion was floated by Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of communist China's central bank, along with urging an increased role for the International Monetary Fund in order to protect world financial markets from the Federal Reserve printing more dollars.
On Tuesday, during a House Financial Services Committee hearing, Rep. Michele Bachmann asked Geithner if he would "categorically renounce the United States moving away from the dollar and going to a global currency," as suggested by China and Russia. He replied, "I would, yes."
Bachmann then asked for confirmation of that reply, and included Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who was also sitting at the witness table, in her question: "You 'categorically,' and the Federal Reserve chair?" Geithner indicated assent, and Bernanke responded, "I would, also."
On Wednesday, during an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, banker Doug Smith asked Geithner about China's proposal to replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency. Geithner responded that "we're actually quite open to that suggestion," adding that we should think of it as "evolutionary" and as "building on the current architecture" of the world's currency rather than moving to global monetary union.
Geithner spent the rest of the day trying (as bureaucrats would say) to clarify his remarks while the dollar fell sharply in currency trading. On the Hannity program, Bachmann recited the colloquy and said, "Secretary Geithner has left the option on the table. I want to know which it is. The American people deserve to know."
On Thursday, a United Nations panel of expert economists pressed for a new global currency reserve system made up of dollars, euros, sterling, yen and others. You can bet that any plan concocted by the U.N. that mentions "global equity" will involve more transfers of U.S. wealth to other countries.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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